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A Sobering Message on Driving Under the Influence

(May 9, 2013)---The teenagers thought it would be easier than this. Surely a pair of goggles wouldn't disrupt their attempt to negotiate a simple turn or stop sign. They were wrong.

For the second year, the MD Community Crime Prevention Institute (MCCPI) and the professional law enforcement driving instructors at the DPSCS Driver Training Facility (DTF) teamed up to show kids what it's really like to try driving when you're under the influence. The annual DWI Awareness Day featured five hours of sobering learning, punctuated by heart-wrenching testimony from two families devastated by the loss of their children to drunken drivers.

Bruce Lohr of MCCPI  and Dan Dazzo, who runs the DTF, began the day with stern classroom warnings about the dangers of alcohol. But the classroom was only the start. When the kids went down the hill to the DPSCS course where law enforcement learn to drive, on real roads with stop lights, signs, and other real-life driving conditions, that's when the hands-on learning took over. The teens found it nearly impossible to complete the most basic driving maneuvers wearing the goggles, which simulate different levels of impairment.

After the adventurous driving, the kids had to toe the line for a field sobriety test, another impossible challenge. Then they heard from two families whose lives were changed forever thanks to someone's terrible decision to drive under the influence.

DPSCS salutes the teamwork of the Crime Prevention Institute and the Driver Training Facility that made the second annual DWI Awareness Day for Carroll County schools such a success.

To contact DPSCS about having your school participate in a DWI Awareness Day, contact the Crime Prevention Institute at 410 875-3421.