Goggles give new perspective on drunk driving at simulation


Courtney Fletcher

Students at WNCC were able to drive ATVs while wearing goggles that simulated being intoxicated to understand the importance of not driving while under the influence.

Thanks to a pair of disorienting goggles and the Sidney Police Department, students at Western Nebraska Community College's Sidney campus got to experience what it's like to drive at different intoxication levels.

The goggles give you double vision as well as throw off your depth perception and balance to simulate being drunk. They are meant to simulate being drunk in order to show the effects that intoxication actually has on coordination while driving.

"We set up a controlled environment and we want people to understand and give visual perceptions of how things are when you're actually drinking," Sidney Police Chief B.J. Wilkinson said.

Students were able to wear the goggles that ranged from 0.6, just under the legal limit to 0.25 and maneuver All-Terrain "Gator" vehicles through cones as well as back into a designated parking place.

"If you're at a 0.25 blood alcohol limit, there's absolutely no reason you should be driving a vehicle," Assistant Chief Joe Aikens said.

"These kids are only driving 3 or 4 miles per hour during this exercise, they have time to think about what they're doing and go slow and look out of the window to move around these cones," Wilkinson said. "Now multiply that speed by 10 or faster, your perceptions aren't the same when you're actually in that situation. You're not going slow or looking out windows before throwing your car into reverse."


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