STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – Almost every hour, someone in the United States is killed by a drunk driver. The campaign against drinking and driving has been highly publicized for decades but still over 10,000 people die in alcohol related accidents each year. Now students at MSU are raising awareness about drinking and driving in hopes of preventing more accidents. On Tuesday, some students at Mississippi State were shown just how much alcohol can effect their motor skills after drinking.
Students gathered at MSU’s Union Plaza for a lesson on the dangers of drinking and driving. The Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity sponsored the event as a part of their annual visibility week. MSU Police used Fatal Vision goggles that show just how impaired your sight is after drinking.
“The drunk felt exaggerated. I really couldn’t tell the level of drunkness but it felt like I was pretty drunk,” says Malcolm Topps, who participated in the simulated drunk driving activity.
“With this, it gives us an opportunity to show the students or the other people that’s around the effects alcohol has on your vision, doing simple tasks,” says MSU Police Officer Hunter Parker, who facilitated the activity.
Participants were asked to walk a short obstacle course wearing the goggles. The goggles cause imbalance and blurred vision, showing what happens to your body after you’ve been drinking.
“You felt like you were walking straight but really you were tilted. So it was a really good simulation,” says Topps.
Organizers say they want students to understand the negative impact drinking and driving can have on your life.
“It’s important not to drink and drive because we all know drunk driving, DUIs, can end up on your record. Possibly drunk driving can be one instance where you can go home thinking you’re ok with drinking and driving but you can end somebody else’s life and potentially end the rest of your life,” says Robert Nichols, a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity.
According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, 31% of all traffic deaths in Mississippi are alcohol related.