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Alcohol monitoring equipment like ignition interlock devices are great, but it would be better to reduce the amount of drunk driving before it ever happened. By educating people about the dangers of drunk driving before they make the mistake, hopefully fewer wrecks will occur. Prevention is key.
Teaching teens the dangers of drunk driving is hard. They're stubborn and think they know everything (can you tell I'm the parent of teens?) which makes them less likely to just listen to your rules and the "Don't do that" type approach to driving after consuming alcohol. A lot of people respond better to a hands-on approach. Obviously that doesn't mean we want to actually send our kids out to drive after they've really become drunk. But the next "best" thing might be electronic simulation of a drunk driving environment so teenagers can realistically experience it to learn from it.
Mrs. Fallon Terracina’s health classes at Thibodaux High School in Thibodaux, Louisiana, use “Drunk Goggles” in class. These alcohol simulation goggles work by shifting the wearer’s view. The result is that the wearer’s balance and equilibrium are affected, making them stumble and struggle to walk a straight line as if impaired by alcohol.
The most recent experiment with these goggles took place in September 2023 and the school shared pictures in a Facebook post. This activity took place just a few weeks before the school's homecoming which is often a time when many teens drink alcohol.
The students were asked to put the goggles on and then try to walk a straight line. This activity taught the students how alcohol alters depth perception and physical functions. Mrs. Terracina’s health classes also wrote group skits about how to use refusal skills to decline alcohol and the consequences of not refusing alcohol. The students then acted the skits out for their classmates.
As a leader in interlock technology, we understand how important technology is to the fight against drunk driving. One way we can use technology to teach valuable lessons about drunk driving is by using simulation goggles such as Fatal Vision® Impairment Goggles. These goggles can elicit the behaviors associated with alcohol, opioids, marijuana, drowsiness, and distraction impairment. They can even simulate concussions. While this device might not be something you'd find in many American households where teens live, you will find them within the walls of many high schools across the country such as those found at Thibodaux High.
The product's website explains, "Participants perform simple activities or sobriety tests without and then with the goggles. Performing the activities twice lets participants experience their performance while unimpaired and then impaired."
When we asked Mrs. Terracina to tell us her thoughts on the drunk driving simulation activity with the drunk goggles, she responded by stating "Allowing students to wear the Fatal Vision® Goggles that simulate a blood alcohol concentration of .12-.15+ is a great way to portray the effects alcohol has on the body's functions and depth perception. The goggles grant the students a real-life experience of the negative effects alcohol has on the body and mind. In my experience, student engagement activities such as using the Fatal Vision® Goggles can promote fun and engaging learning for students. The students are very receptive to this lesson and enjoy the interactive activity with the Fatal Vision® Goggles."
We know that sometimes it's tempting to drink alcohol, and sometimes it's not convenient to just not drive after doing so. But we also know the devastating consequences of driving drunk or buzzed. If you need help resisting the urge to drive after consuming alcohol or if your probation officer or judge is requiring you to install an ignition interlock device after receiving a DWI or DUI charge, contact us to see how our alcohol tester products can help.
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