Students stumble through simulation

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Tanya Rinehart didn't think it would be so difficult to operate a vehicle after a few drinks. But the Moffat County High School freshman and peers in her health class each knocked over at least a few cones Monday while driving a golf cart wearing "drunk goggles" -- glasses that simulate drunken reactions -- during a police-sponsored drill at the school.

"I thought it would be a lot easier," Rinehart said, after hitting some cones and stumbling off the cart while still wearing the goggles. "That was the hardest thing in the world. I think I knocked over four cones."

The goggles simulate the effects of drinking a few beers or a blood-alcohol level of 0.10, said Craig Police Officer, Travis Young. Students were instructed to drive a golf cart around a set of cones on the high-school football field while wearing the glasses.

Young said the department occasionally offers students the opportunity to wear the glasses and perform "normal" functions. The lesson is intended to show students the disabling effects of drinking alcohol.

"This is to show you that it's not OK to get in the car and drive after a few beers," Young told the students.

Moffat County High School Health teacher Todd Trapp said the exercise is good to drive home an anti-drinking-and-driving message.

"For some of these guys, they realize it's not like driving sober," he said. "I think they realize how much they have to slow down to go through the curves."

Junior Dennis Green said that wearing the goggles made him feel sick but that the exercise also showed him how difficult it might be to drive while intoxicated.

"I definitely wouldn't want to drive like that," he said.

Young said the lesson would be worthwhile if students re--mem-bered the lesson if they were considering driving after drinking.

"Some of these kids probably do remember this," he said. "I hope they think twice before driving."

Amy Hatten can be reached at 824-7031 or ahatten@craig-dailypress.com

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