by BRITTANY HALL
On October 17, Sheriff Jeffrey Brewer, Captain West Bedgood and Sergeant Jonathan Jones visited DEA to present the first DUI Goggle obstacle course to the Juniors and Seniors of David Emanuel Academy. The presentation was requested by DEA’s Headmaster, Haylee Free, to provide the teens with knowledge about the negative effects of substance abuse and how driving while under the influence is detrimental to not only their life but the lives of others.
Before the hands-on program began, Sheriff Brewer gave a short presentation on the effects of alcohol and driving and provided the teens with impairment Goggles that simulate the effects of Alcohol and Marijuana including reduced alertness, slowed reaction time, confusion, visual distortion, alteration of depth and distance perception, reduction of peripheral vision, poor judgement and decision making, double vision, and lack of muscular coordination.
Students were given the choice to choose between alcohol goggles with either a low BAC of .04 to .06., an impairment BAC of .08 to .15, a twilight vision BAC of .15 to .25, a “totally wasted” BAC of .26 to .35. or the cannabis goggles which impaired their concentration and coordination. After choosing their goggle’s, the Eagles got into the driver’s seat of the Sheriff’s personal golf cart and drove through a short course marked with orange traffic cones. Some students navigated the course well while others ran over many cones.
“Mrs. Free gave me the idea to begin this program and I believe that it is an excellent and proactive way to reach the teenagers of our County and ensure that they are making conscious and responsible decisions when it comes to driving under the influence.” Sheriff Brewer explained, “It’s an opportunity for us to interact with these children in a positive way while also letting them know that drinking and driving is not a safe thing to do and if they do make that choice, the next time we meet will not be as positive. The best room I have at my hotel is not a suite, so we try to encourage them to think about the after-effects and to call someone to pick them up before ultimately making the choice to get behind the wheel. It was a very positive and eye-opening experience to most of those kids and I hope that they always keep it in mind. Any time that we’re able to have a positive reaction with the youth of our community, or alter a negative lifestyle, that’s a good day.” He said with a smile before concluding. “I want to see them but not in an official capacity.”
Sheriff Brewer is in the process of making plans to call the Principals at both ECI and SHS so that his team can provide the same program for the juniors and seniors of those schools as well and says that he hopes this is something that they can continue annually each year.
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