Allen Parish Sheriff Doug Hebert III hangs on as Emily Dunnehoo, a senior at Reeves High, tries to maneuver a golf cart through an obstacle course Thursday while wearing ''drunk goggles.'' The goggles are used to simulate the effects of alcohol and drugs on driving abilities, reaction time and motor skills. (Doris Maricle / American Press)
Last Modified: Thursday, April 04, 2013 7:42 PM
REEVES — It was a sobering lesson for some Reeves High School students.
Some 50 high school juniors and seniors experienced the dangers of drinking and driving Thursday by going through an obstacle course while wearing drunk goggles. The goggles, which alter vision and depth perception, are designed to give the students a realistic representation of the effects of alcohol on driving abilities, reaction time and motor skills.
Students also attempted to walk straight lines for sobriety tests and shoot basketballs while wearing the goggles.
“Our goal is to make these students aware of the consequences of drinking and driving and how being intoxicated has an impact on your reactions,” said Allen Parish District Attorney Todd Nesom. “As young adults, alcohol will become a part of their lives.”
As prom and graduation season nears, the District Attorney’s Office and the Allen Parish Sheriff’s Office sponsor the Safe and Sober events at area schools as a reminder of the dangers of driving impaired
“We want them to have fun, but we don’t want them doing something stupid because of one night,” said Sheriff Doug Hebert III. “It’s not worth destroying the rest of their lives over.”
Drunk driving is the number one killer of teenagers, followed by texting and driving, Hebert said.
“We don’t want to have to go to one of their houses on prom night and tell someone their son or daughter has just been killed,” Nesom said.
Unable to see clearly with the goggles, most students said it was difficult to maneuver the golf carts around the orange cones set up along the obstacle course. Each cone represented a pedestrian, another vehicle, utility pole or some other object.
“I learned that you can’t trust yourself when you are intoxicated,” senior Emily Dunnehoo said. “You can’t trust your vision, where you are or anything. You might as well close your eyes.”
Classmate Carlee Cavenah said the hardest part was not being able to see.
“I couldn’t see anything and almost hit someone,” Cavenah said. “I learned not to ride with people who have been drinking and not to drink and drive either.”
Senior Morgan Holland said the goggles made her see double.
“It’s way too bad to drive in that condition,” Holland said.
Senior Chandler Breaux said he shouldn’t have been driving so much, as he exited the golf cart after hitting one of the cones.
Classmate Brennan Bell said the goggles made everything “really blurry.”
“It makes you think twice,” Bell said.
The goggles reflected various levels of intoxication and the blurred vision caused by alcohol and drugs.