WEST ASHLEY SC (WCSC) - Hundreds of West Ashley High School students took the wheel of golf carts Thursday, learning the hazards of impaired driving firsthand at the annual Golf Cart Rodeo.
During the event, students drive a golf cart and wear "drunk goggles" that simulate impaired vision at a blood alcohol level over the legal limit.
Students also rotate through other stations, including texting and driving through an obstacle course.
"The 'drunk goggles' only partially impair the student's driving," said Carl Fehr, in a press release. Fehr is a paramedic with Charleston County EMS, who also serves as president of the The High School Injury Prevention Coalition. "We also emphasize to students that, if they were truly intoxicated, all of their senses would be affected, including judgment and reflexes."
According to Fehr, it is "truly amazing to see how poorly the students are able to navigate our course while trying to use a phone."
The whole rodeo is an interactive program for the students and can really open their eyes to the risks involved with poor decision making.
According a press release, the high school has hosted the event for the past five years leading up to spring break and prom season, with hopes of encouraging students to make smart decisions and practice safe driving. School officials say around 300 students participated in this year's event.
Students also spend time with first responders, ranging from EMS to firefighters, as they go behind the scenes of an ambulance and accident protocol.
They also spend time with Charleston police doing field sobriety test simulations.