Westwood Horizon

Students Simulate Drunk Driving

By Rustin Mehrabani-Farsi, Extras Editor

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Working with the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, Student Council gave students the opportunity to experience a drunk driving simulation in the parking lot on Tuesday, Feb. 26. Students drove golf carts through a marked course while wearing a pair of specialized goggles meant to mimic the effects of alcohol. With end of  year celebrations approaching, the activity allowed students to be educated on how lethal drunk driving can be.

“I know prom’s coming up, and we know it happens every year where kids go out there and have a bit of fun and start drinking, then get behind the wheel,” Deputy Sheriff Trejo said. “So what we’re hoping is to avoid that by them experiencing what we have here.”

The goggles the students wore were special “drunk” goggles, designed to imitate how alcohol can affect a person’s mind. By distorting their vision along with making them dizzy, students were able to have a hands on experience with what drunk driving is like in a safe, controlled environment.

“I definitely couldn’t drive like that, that was really tough,” Caleb Farris ‘20 said. “Everything was kinda shifted and it was like, moving when it shouldn’t have been moving, and everything was kind of to the side and it was really awkward.”

Once the goggles were on, the drivers then had to navigate their kart through an obstacle course of orange traffic cones to the best of their ability. The course tested their ability to make sharp turns, drive on winding roads, and their reaction time in order to brake.

“Don’t drink and drive,” Tony Ayala ‘21 said. “If you drink and drive you’re gonna die. I hit two children [represented by traffic cones]. Two children are dead because I drank, so don’t drink.”

According to the Center for Disease Control, high school students drive intoxicated about 2.4 million times each month. The sheriff’s office hopes to reduce that number by letting students see for themselves how dangerous drunk driving is, and enable students to make smarter choices when deciding whether or not to get behind the wheel.

“We’re hoping that this can be an eye opener for them,” Trejo said. “If it’s hard driving a little golf cart, imagine driving a car. We don’t want students, or anybody, to go out there drinking and driving, then end up in a car accident and killing somebody, or killing themselves.”

 

About the Writer
Rustin Mehrabani-Farsi, Extras Editor

This is my first year as extras editor, and I'm really excited to see what I can bring to the table this...

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