South Plains College Uses Creative Weapon Against Drinking & Driving - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/23/03

South Plains College Uses Creative Weapon Against Drinking & Driving

The last thing you want to hear is a police siren after you decide to drink and drive. And South Plains College Police Chief John Wuerflein is raising awareness by letting students look through the eyes of a drunk driver by getting behind the wheel of golf carts and driving through an obstacle course wearing special goggles to simulate, what a drunk driver would see.

It's a seemingly easy course of orange cones. But instantly the goggles take their toll on the impaired driver. The simple task of putting a key in the ignition takes more concentration than usual. Students also stumble in finding the accelerator. The goggles are used to simulate what it's like to be drunk. Once on the road driving around cones became a challenge. It's very blurry. Even though we at NewsChannel 11 didn't hit any of them, our coordination was obviously very impaired.

"I couldn't control my movements it felt like I couldn't control anything. There's no way I could drive like that especially in this," says reporter, Camie Crump.

And students who tackled the course felt the same.

"It was hard, everything was off to the left or right vision's blurrier things smaller, it's a whole lot harder," says SPC student Raymond Baiza.

"It's all blurry you can't really see where you're going," says SPC student, Coley Thomas.

Chief Wuerflein says these students are very lucky because hitting cones is nothing compared to injuring or even killing someone on the road. "This is just a way to tell these people you know if you're gonna drink make that decision to drink, stay off the streets."

The students at South Plains College were also put through sobriety tests with the goggles on. The goggles simulate what it's like to be legally drunk at a blood alcohol level of .08.

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