Thursday, April 19, 2007
Students learn danger of drinking, driving
By SUE WATSON
Students who go to the prom this year have an extra warning about drinking and driving, thanks to the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office.
This is the first year that students were introduced to what intoxication feels like using simulation goggles.
Two sets of goggles were used for the demonstration, one that simulates one one-hundredths less than the blood alcohol level (BAC) used to determine the legal level of intoxication in adults and one that simulates how it feels to be two times over that level, said deputy David Cook.
Students tested their balance on the line test wearing the goggles. Those with driver’s licenses took the Gator driving test, an obstacle course set up for driving with goggles on.
The exercise goes along with the Prom Promise some students sign before prom night saying they won’t drink and drive, county school resource officer Shane Goode said.
“I tried to explain that your eyes are drunk in this simulation,” Cook said. “When you are drunk, your eyes and your brain both are drunk.”
County D.A.R.E. officer Tamara Jefferies explained to Marshall Academy students Thursday what they would experience when wearing the goggles and what the law requires.
“You guys, when I first did it (took the test with the goggles), I don’t even drink, and I said, ‘Oh, my God.’ ”
Individuals under the age of 21 years cannot legally buy or drink alcohol in the state of Mississippi. A blood alcohol level of .02 is legally drunk for teens while a BAC of .08 is the level the state uses to determine if an adult is drunk.
In the Gator test, students wore the goggles while driving continuously through an obstacle course set up with cones. Student reactions after taking the test included:
“It was no fun.”
“I took down all the cones. It was not a very fun experience. When I took the goggles off, I was still kind of dizzy. It made me feel sick.”
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