POTTSBORO, Tex. ― Our Safe Family report today focuses on keeping your teens safe on the road and teaching the dangers of drinking and driving with a firsthand lesson. Rashi Vats has this safe family report.
Alcohol-related crashes in the United States cost the public over $114 billion, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, but the cost of these crashes on human lives is immeasurable.
Now local police officers are working to prevent tragedies through education. Pottsboro High School students were given the opportunity to see what driving drunk would feel like, simulating the experience by having the teens put on special goggles and drive golf carts through an obstacle course.
"We’ve had students go through it with no goggles on, and they haven't had any problems, but the minute they put the goggles on, they have problems staying in between the flags," Pottsboro police chief Brett Arterburn says.
In the state of Texas, the legal limit is .08 and the goggles that they use are below that.
The flags the on the course could have easily been light poles or mailboxes or worse ―innocent people. Even though the golf cart's maximum speed is only 15 miles per hour, the goggles definitely impaired our driving and that of the students.
"Oh it's real tough. It’s a lot tougher than you think it would be driving with those goggles on. I’m sure it gives a good reenactment of what it would be like if you were drinking and driving," Pottsboro High School senior Drew Bates said.
Chief Arterburn says he thinks all high schools should try this program.
"It’s been a great experience. I think the kids really learned a lot," he says.
Hopefully, he says, they learned enough to prevent future drunk driving tragedies.