East Davidson takes off the beer goggles on prom night

May. 03, 2013 @ 03:54 PM

While students at East Davidson High School enjoy their prom tonight, officers hope they remember a lesson they learned Friday afternoon: Don’t drink and drive.
The Piedmont Association of Insurance Professionals partnered with the high school and Thomasville Police Department to show students what driving impaired can be like.
For 12 years the association has set up stations at East Davidson that mock alcohol’s effect on sight.
Fran Brown, president of the association, said as long as they have been doing the program, students have been accident-free on prom night.
“Our goal is to touch the lives of the students,” Brown said. “If we’ve saved one person’s life from drinking and driving, we’ve met our goal.”
With low-powered fatal vision goggles, students walk forward while people toss bean bags at them. The practice simulates cars pulling out in front of drivers and when they would see them. Some students caught a couple of bean bags, several didn’t catch any.
At the second station, with mid-powered fatal vision goggles that simulate a .07-.10 blood alcohol level, an officer acted out part of a sobriety test that he would give to someone he would pull over for suspicion of drunken driving. Many students couldn’t walk the line.
At the final station, with high-powered goggles at .17-.20 blood alcohol level, students drove a golf cart through a course set up by police officers. Many failed to miss the cones.
“The goggles make everything feel like it was further away than it was,” said Dillon Brady, a junior at East Davidson. “It shows how bad it would be to drive under the influence and how dangerous it is to drive when you’re drunk.”
Billy Hunt, principal at East Davidson, said the program has been successful at the school.
“I’ve been proud of our kids. I’ve heard many comments in the halls of students saying they learned a lot from the program,” Hunt said. “We want the kids to enjoy their prom night; we just want to assure that they are smart about it.”
jhowse@hpe.com|888-3617