Prom safety demonstration urges students not to drink and drive

Students wear goggles while taking a field sobriety test (Source: Live 5)
Students wear goggles while taking a field sobriety test (Source: Live 5)

WEST ASHLEY, SC (WCSC) - With several area high schools scheduled to hold their proms this weekend, local agencies are making sure students stay safe on the roadways ahead of the big day.

The High School Injury Prevention Coalition, composed of a variety of different agencies within the Tri-County, put together an exercise focused on the dangers of driving under the influence on the roads.

Some of the exercises at West Ashley High School gave students the opportunity to wear goggles that impair their vision.

"When they start going through, they start to see whether it's the chemical impairments of the alcohol or the drugs that's causing them not to focus on the task at hand and maintain the control of the vehicle," said Carl Fehr, President of the Coalition.

Students had to drive a golf cart through a narrow course without knocking any cones over.

"I felt like I was going the right way, but I was really hitting the cones," West Ashley High School Junior Indya Brown said. "It was really blurry."

"[Drinking at a young age] is bad for their bodies, bad for their brain cells," Fehr said. "They have more increased chances of addiction, depression, anxiety, and other psychological problems."

Organizers said having the students get outside and take part in these hands-on exercises is what makes an impact.

"When they get to see firsthand for themselves how dangerous this is, talk to responders who are out here today, [they'll see what could happen]," Fehr said.

First responders are also urging students to have a plan for the weekend. While underage drinking is illegal, they urge students who do drink to never get behind the wheel.

"Killing themselves or somebody else is astronomical," Fehr said. "We don't want them to do something like that. We want them to make good decisions. We do reiterate that if they get into a bad situation, that they have to look out for one another."

"If you do get drunk going to prom, if you need a ride, I'll come get you," Brown said to her friends.

Distracted driving and field sobriety tests with goggles were also exercises at the demonstration.

The Meducare ambulance and a Rescue Unit truck were also on scene to show students what first responders do when they arrive at the scene of an accident.

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