By Braden Berg
In 2017 almost 11,000 people were killed by drunk drivers in the United states. That’s almost 30 every day.
We are moving into prom season for many high schoolers across the Ozarks. And there was a good safety message shared today in Lebanon. Juniors and Seniors with the GOCAPS program in the Lebanon area were put to the test on an obstacle course put on by Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop I.
“We give the students an idea of what the world looks like for those who make a bad choice and drive impaired.” said Sgt. MIke Mitchell, with the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
The students put on Fatal Vision goggles that distorted their motor skills. Then they had to drive a golf cart through an obstacle course.
“I was thinking like this will be no big deal,” said Kaity Miller, a student who participated. “It was a little stressful. I could tell that everything was really slow.”
“It was definitely hard.” added Justin Williams. “It was really wavy. It was also like an out of body experience.”
These students will be heading to prom later this month and some could be tempted to have a drink, then drive home.
“It is just not worth it.” Williams said.
“They think that it is okay to go out after prom and get drunk and drive, it is really not a safe thing.” Miller added.
Something these students learned first hand on Friday.
“It just gives them an idea that how distorted our basic senses become,” said Mitchell. “Your reaction time, everything slows down, and you become really deliberate.”
Things that troopers look for with impaired drivers. And something that everyone saw firsthand on Friday.
“They drive through without the goggles on and they are giggling and they are doing it pretty quick,” said Mitchell. “And then as they come back through with the goggles on… They are really taking their time on where to turn, how to turn, and then of course they start running over cones.”
“I am glad that I did this, it just really does show me that this is not a safe thing to do.” Miller said.
Next weekend there will be a similar impaired driving course at our Safe and Sound event at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds
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