Impact of Drunk Driving in Van Buren County
Updated: Saturday, April 13 2013, 04:11 PM EDT
VAN BUREN COUNTY, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The impact of drunk driving is hitting home for some adults in Van Buren County, who are experiencing what it's like to be impaired behind the wheel--in a controlled environment.
The Van Buren County Sheriff's Department led its Citizens Police Academy through a course in a car while wearing drunk goggles.
Even for drivers with decades of experience, they're learning there's no exception to the damage a drunk driver can do.
"There was more concentrating and where you were going, through the cones, the last cone, I did miss," said Steve Boughter, a student at the Van Buren County Citizens Police Academy.
The goggles the drivers wore simulated visually what it's like to operate a car past the legal limit.
"People may think that driving under the influence, they can do," said Sgt. David walker with the Van Buren County Sheriff's Department. "We are going to show people it is dangerous."
Of the 30 students, not one made it through the course without toppling cones.
They traveled the course two ways--once normal, and once "intoxicated."
Law enforcement in Van Buren County says the message is simple and effective.
"They're going to see they can't maintain control of that vehicle," Sgt. Walker explained. "They'll be able to pass on or educate to their kids what it was like and we're hoping that works; we'll spread that drinking and driving doesn't mix."
Everyone walked away with the same resolution: don't drink and drive.
The Van Buren County Sheriff's Department says as a whole, DUIs are going down in Michigan.
They credit that change to activities like this one and grant funding.