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Drunk Driving Class Hospitalizes Teens

A sheriff's lesson using a golf cart and "drunk goggles" aims to show the dangers of drunk driving. It succeeds.

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The incident reveals the hidden dangers of
mock drunk driving.
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By Bryan Le

06/19/12

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Hands-on lessons on the dangers of drunk driving are one way of trying to do teens some good. But one unfortunate incident in Indiana suggests that learning-by-doing can get a little too real. Three teens and a sheriff's deputy taking part in a simulated drunk-driving accident were injured after their 14-year-old driver—who was sporting “drunk goggles”—lost control of their golf cart, tipping it on its side. Police say that the young, virtually-intoxicated driver over-corrected after taking a turn too hard, bringing a (hopefully) sobering end to the exercise on the asphalt of the Elkhart County Jail parking lot. Drunk goggles are designed to simulate intoxication, teaching kids the dangers of drunk driving by having them wobble and giggle through a gauntlet of activities that would otherwise be easy: catching a large foam ball, driving a golf cart around cones and a good old-fashioned sobriety test. The teens and their sheriff guide were treated at nearby hospitals for minor injuries and then released. The cart suffered a slightly worse fate: a cracked windshield and a damaged canopy. According to Undersheriff Sean Holmes, nothing "improper" occurred, and the incident was purely accidental. The takeaway? Perhaps drunk driving is so dangerous that even pretending to do it can hurt.

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