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Goggles allow local juniors and seniors to take “tipsy” driving tests

DEWAYNE HOLLOWAY/dewayne@mcnews.online

Local law enforcement introduced juniors and seniors at Caddo Hills and Mount Ida to what it feels like to drink and drive, as well as what happens when your stopped while drinking and driving.

Members of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Arkansas State Police, Arkansas Highway Patrol, and Arkansas Game and Fish Commission participated in the educational opportunity last Thursday. Students were given “beer goggles” to wear while performing basic tasks, driving and conducting a field sobriety test.

The beer goggles were available in two strengths with one simulating “buzzed” driving at the minimum limit for drinking and driving, while the other simulated someone who was highly inebriated.

Students put the goggles on and then were asked to wash their hands in a very specific way. They were to use soap from the dispenser without spilling it, wash their hands, grab one paper towel to dry with and then they had to walk to the trash can and throw the towel away. The purpose of the test was to show a dullness in fine motor skills.

Students were also given an opportunity to drive a golf cart through an obstacle course with a law enforcement officer accompanying them. This part of the exercise provided students a safe opportunity to experience what it feels like to drink and drive. Doing so revealed slower reaction times behind the wheel of the cart.

Students also were subjected to a field sobriety test by law enforcement officers. They were instructed in each test just as they would be during a real field sobriety test executed during a traffic stop.

Caddo Hills School Resource Officer Stacy Watson organized the event which included several members of local and state law enforcement. The exercises were conducted at Mount Ida Thursday, March 12, in the morning and at Caddo Hills in the afternoon. Watson stated that they were unable to go to Oden due to a scheduling conflict, but he does plan on taking the goggles and carts to their campus when an opportunity arises.

Watson wanted to thank Glenwood Golf Course and Johnny Plyler for the use of the golf carts. He also wanted to thank the Arkansas State Police for the use of the goggles.

Law enforcement officers involved include:

Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office – School resource officers Stacy Watson and Josh Baker, and Deputy Willie Bartel.

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission – Game Wardens Jessica Weatherford and Jeff Black.

Arkansas State Police – Corporal Benjamin Harrison.

Arkansas Highway Police – Officer Thomas Jackson

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