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Drunk, Drugged & Distracted Driving Awareness

November 29, 2011, 4:52 PM by Shawn Neisteadt

Drunk, Drugged & Distracted Driving Awareness
SIOUX FALLS, SD - When you turn the page to December, you're turning to what is now known as Drunk, Drugged and Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

It looks like fun and games, and it is, but it also has an important lesson. Through the help of drunk simulation goggles, students are learning the easiest tasks can be difficult when impaired.

"It's kind of hard. We had to walk on this board and couldn't really walk on it that well," Sioux Falls Roosevelt 9th grade student Emmanuel Riley said.

The more than 100 students then learn how this relates to them getting behind the wheel and what could go wrong.

"We want students to understand the dangers and the consequences. Often times, teens don't think past the moment," Darcy Jensen of Prairie View Prevention Services said.

"You put on the goggles and everything shifts from left to right and you have no idea where you are pretty much," Harrisburg senior Kaylee Schirado said. 

Schirado hopes to share the lessons she's learning here with others at her school.

"We get told over and over again, but I don't think kids really understand it until they get themselves into it.  That's just how it is really." Schirado said.

Students themselves say these are critical lessons to learn because they know they have classmates who may choose to abuse alcohol.

"Hearing different stories, you get the gist of it really," Schirado said.

This is why organizers hope these students take what they're learning here to heart. While laughter and fun are part of this lesson, outside of this controlled environment, the same lessons can be fatal.

Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead also addressed the students on Tuesday. This is the 15th year for this event put on by the Coalition for a Drug-Free South Dakota.

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