For the Cumberland Times-News
CRESAPTOWN — Students at the Career Center and Mountain Ridge High School are learning about the consequences of alcohol-impaired driving with the help of the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office and Frostburg City Police.
In early April, a crashed car was parked in front of the Career Center and a large banner that states “Allegany County Sheriff’s Office reminds drivers, Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving” was displayed in front of the vehicle. The students in the law enforcement program helped arrange for and set up the vehicle for the student body to see firsthand the possible outcome of driving while impaired.
Several weeks later, the two police agencies hosted the first Gator-Aid alcohol-impaired program designed to educate the students on the effects and consequences of reckless, aggressive and impaired driving, and explain motor and criminal laws associated with impaired and reckless driving. The students were given an opportunity to wear fatal vision goggles while driving a John Deere Gator within a closed obstacle course that the officers set up on school property.
The goggles stimulate only the student’s vision, and the levels ranged from 0.02 to above 0.20 blood alcohol concentration.
After the senior students attended an alcohol educational presentation in the morning, they were given the opportunity to navigate the obstacle course with the gator. The students were allowed to drive with direct supervision through the course to experience the effects on their driving ability while their vision was impaired by the goggles. Each student who drove was entered into a drawing for a chance to win two prizes that were donated by several area businesses.
Businesses that supported the program include Armstrong Insurance Agency, J&S Pawn Shops, D&D Motors, Walmart, Polish Pines Golf Course, Barth Frankenberry Sr., Winter’s Towing and PSSI.