Seabees Experience Drinking And Driving - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

09/02/04

Seabees Experience Drinking And Driving

As he maneuvers his way around an obstacle course in a golf cart, Commander John Rice wears goggles that simulate a blood alcohol content of up to point two five. The legal limit is point oh eight.  It looks distorted, things are, I feel dizzy actually. The difficulty is you go through here is the reaction time becaue if this simulates point one seven BAC then somebody is reacting slower than what they normally would," says Rice.

 In another exercise, Crystal Lee walks a straight line, when she isn't wearing the goggles.  But when she puts them on, her step is wobby, she loses her balance and her sense of direction.  Lee says, "I was completely intoxicated, it was pretty bad. It was nauseating and a headache."

Lee says she can only imagine what it must be like for a drunk driver. "It actually frightens me to think that people would actually drive that intoxicated."  Chris Atkinson agrees. "It definitely throws you off balance. If I were not intoxicated I'd definitely be able to walk the line but because I was concentrating on the line I forgot to count out loud so it'd be a failure either way."

 While the Seabees have some fun and laughs with the goggles, the message is sobering. Commander Rice says, "The message here is a positive message showin' the impacts and affects of alcohol on driving and tryin' to keep the Seabees safe."

Marcia Hill 

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