Students Get Hands-On Drunk Driving Lesson

By: Ryan Dearbone Email
By: Ryan Dearbone Email

Nationwide, nearly 5,700 teenagers, ages 16 through 20, died as a result of a drunk driving accident in 2005. These are numbers that many people find very alarming.

Warren Central High School has spent this week teaching its students about the dangers of driving drunk by actually putting them behind the wheel.

Sophomore Miranda Stagner knew it would be hard trying to drive the golf cart with drunk goggles on, "but when I got in the car with the goggles, it was a lot harder than I expected," she said.

Her classmate, Sergey Caprian, had his own difficulties trying to manuever the golf cart.

"I thought it was gonna be a test. You put on goggles but then you try it; Its' really difficult," Caprian admited.

These students simulated driving and taking field sobriety tests with a blood alcohol level of .17. The cones that guided the students around the curvy maze weren't just regular cones. Each cone represents one life. So if you run over 10 cones, you've just killed 10 people.

"I had to concentrate real hard cause I was actually pretending they were real people. When I took the goggles off I was driving like regular. It was easy," Caprian said.

The students were also told about a girl in Floyd County who's now spending time in jail for killing another person while driving drunk.

"They're going to sentence her before graduation so she can't graduate with her class. Now she's 18 years old and will have to spend two and a half years in prison. Two and a half years of her life because she chose to get behind the wheel after drinking," said Wayne Alexander of the Kentucky Crime Prevention Coalition, the organization that puts on the demonstration.

"To know when I had those goggles on and for someone to actually be out there driving in the car when they are impaired like that, it scares me a little more," Stagner said.

It seems the lessons of today's drive will resonate with these students long after they sober up, and the law says if you're arrested for driving under the influence, you could face a penalty of up to a $500 fine and community service. A repeat offender can expect a $500 fine and up to six months in jail.

For more information on traffic fatalities, click here and to see fatality statsclick here. You can also go to Kentucky Crime Prevention Coalition's website to find out more.


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