Earlier this week, Central Georgia Technical College students got to see what it is like to drive drunk. To be clear, the students did not consume alcohol and they were not actually driving a vehicle on our Georgia roads. Instead, they participated in a simulation program that is making its way around the country to educate young drivers about the dangers of drunk driving.
People already understand that driving drunk is dangerous and can have serious legal consequences, but people make mistakes. A business professional or an underage student may choose to drive after only having a couple of drinks without realizing how much of an affect the alcohol may have on one's system and ability to drive.
In order to illustrate how quickly alcohol can impair one's ability to drive, UNITE International is taking the state-of-the-art simulator across the country to give students a virtual experience of what it is like to drive drunk.
The Georgia students took their turns getting behind the wheel of a real car. They were given goggles to wear that displayed the "road" ahead of them. While wearing the goggles, the drivers were able to see cars, pedestrians and other objects. Students did not actually drive the car, but different sensors on the brake and gas pedals and steering wheel gave the students the ability to feel what it would have been like if they were trying to drive on a real road.
A member of UNITE said that the simulation gives the students the experience of a worst case scenario of drunk driving.
Alcohol consumption, even in small amounts, can impair one's ability to drive whether they realize it or not, and underage students could face serious legal consequences if they are caught drinking and driving. In Georgia, a student under the age of 21 could be convicted of drunk driving if the student's blood alcohol level is only .02.
Source: WMGT, "Simulator Gives Central Georgia Tech Students An Experience of Distracted/Drunk Driving," Kyle Warnke, Oct. 17, 2011