High school seniors learn through Impaired Driving Experience PDF Print E-mail

Last week high school seniors were given the opportunity to learn outside of the classroom. An opportunity to learn a lesson with classmates that could save a life.

 

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office, Huber’s Winery, Southern Indiana Treatment Center and Xtreme Transportation partnered together to give the seniors a lesson they will not soon forget, the “Impaired Driving Experience.”

Each day the sponsors hosted a group of 25 to 30 students. The students worked their way through the Impaired Driving Experience including different stations where they had the opportunity to see what could happen if they chose to make a bad decision.

The stations included Walk and Turn, One Leg Stand, Basketball and a Driving Course. The Walk and Stand station had the impairment goggles as a person was impaired with marijuana while the One Leg Stand used goggles with impairment of pills. The Basketball station included impaired goggles of .08 alcohol impairment and the Driving Course used    .18 alcohol impaired goggles. Students were given the opportunity to drive an ATV through the course with Officer Jack Jawor using an air horn when the senior hit a hay bale or something along the course.

“I feel this is important to me because this gave those seniors a glimpse into how being impaired, not only on alcohol, but also on pills and drugs, can easily make every day tasks impossible. The simple tasks we ask them to do were not so easily done,” stated Officer Joe Waters.

Waters spent his week conducting the Walk and Turn station. He asked students to walk a simple straight line, heal to toe for nine steps, counting the steps out loud. Simple enough. Then he handed the senior the impairment goggles that gave the student the impression of being impaired with marijuana. Student after student placed the goggles on, fixed the strap and listened intently to the instructions given by Officer Waters. After stating they understood the directions, they began the Walk and Turn. All would continue to “fail” the sobriety test when the goggles were used.

“I can’t tell you how many times I heard the seniors say ‘I can’t believe how hard this is.’,” Waters stated. “I hope the seniors learned how difficult the simplest of tasks are when you are impaired. The simple task of opening a lock or walking a straight line was not possible.”

Waters continued, “The driving experience was great. The simplest of tasks like driving and not hitting anything was impossible. The seniors could not go 10 to 15 feet without hitting a hay bale. People think they can still drive after making a bad decision. They think it’s OK and they are OK, but they are impaired. When you try to drive impaired, you are not only putting yourself in danger, but you are also putting others in danger.”

This was the third year the “Impaired Driving Experience” has been held at Huber’s. The Huber family is still excited to bring the students to the farm to learn a “life lesson.”

“There is nothing more important for us being a family destination than to instill real life dangers of alcohol at an early age,” stated Christian Huber, family spokesperson.

“This is something they will not only remember down the road, but also at Prom time. This will leave them something to think about when they have to make certain decisions. We love supporting the community. There is nothing we like to do more than teaching and instilling in the next generation to know how alcohol will affect you,” Huber stated. “We see it day after day, as a family destination, we train our employees and bar staff to know their limit and know  the signs that the customer has hit their limit. We are excited to see this type of experience given to the next generation.”

A different school was given the opportunity each day last week. The Impaired Driving Experience was conducted for Borden High School on Monday, Henryville High School on Tuesday, New Washington High School on Wednesday, Charlestown High School on Thursday and Silver Creek High School on Friday.

“I have came down each day to see how the students are coming along,” Huber stated on Thursday afternoon. “It’s nice to see the students learning in a comfortable setting. They are outside with their classmates learning a life lesson. As they learn the lesson of it, they are also becoming advocates. When they get to college, they could remember what this was like and could change one friend’s mind. If one kid out of the 100 here can save one accident, one family is saved from the accident, then that’s what we are here for.”

Several officers with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office were on hand throughout the week to help the seniors get the full experience. Students were able to get learn from Clark County Sheriff Jamey Noel, Chief Brad Jones, Charlestown High School Resource Officer Kevin Fisher, Danny Tenney, John Starks along with different Reserve Officers throughout the week.

The Southern Indiana Comprehensive Treatment Center was also one of the sponsors for the event. Lindsey Vissing, Director of the Center and Debbie Fife, Director of Nursing at the Center, were on hand to help the officers throughout the week.

“The Southern Indiana Comprehensive Treatment Center is doing what they can to provide education to prevent drug and alcohol abuse in our community,” Vissing stated.

Besides the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, Huber’s and the Southern Indiana Comprehensive Treatment Center, other sponsors of the event included: Clark County Purdue Extension Center and Xtreme Transportation.

Health and Human Sciences Educator Marilyn Sink of Clark County Purdue Extension Center also spent part of her week leaving a lasting impression on the seniors attending the Impaired Driving Experience. Xtreme Transportation offered their service to transport students from their school to Huber’s and back to the school each day.

Clark County Sheriff Jamey Noel  was excited to partner with the sponsors to give the seniors an opportunity to learn a life lesson just before prom season and graduation.

“I am excited to be teaming up again with these businesses and welcome our new partners who want to see a reduction in impaired driving,” Noel stated in a press release. “”With partners like Huber’s Winery & Starlight Distillery, Southern Indiana Treatment Center and Xtreme Transportation, we hopefully will continue to decrease tragedies and make our roads safer.”

Waters agreed that the timing of the Impaired Driving Experience is perfect.

“Traditionally this time of the year with prom and graduation is party time for the seniors. If they are going to make poor choices, they seem to make those choices this time of the year,” Waters added. “We hope the timing will make a difference for the seniors. After just completing the Impaired Driving Experience, the lessons learned will be on their mind when they go to Prom and to their graduation parties.”

Waters concluded, “This is just another outreach program offered by Sheriff Jamey Noel to reach the youth of Clark County. Sheriff Noel is committed to making a difference for the youth of Clark County.”