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Fort Sill soldiers, civilians go through impaired driving course

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FORT SILL Okla_ A few Fort Sill soldiers and some civilians found out what it's really like to drive while impaired, as part of the Army Substance Abuse Program's "Drunk Drug Driving" awareness campaign.

Today, Fort Sill set up a mock impaired driving scenario, where people got the chance to drive through an obstacle course using their normal vision and then again with the "drunk" goggles. The goggles give the driver the perception equivalent to someone who's had 3-5 drinks.

Sergeant First Class Rondriques Jackson attempted to get through the obstacle course wearing the "drunk goggles."

"Some people probably driving while they're drunk and text and drive while they're drunk. That's a recipe for disaster"

Everyone tried the course and everyone failed. This proves the three to five drinks the goggles simulate are too much.

"Very disorientating, very disorientating. I would suggest no one drink and drive, or even drink and walk around," Chief Warrant Officer 4 Reid Evans said.

Belinda Smith, a civilian went through the simulator, too.

"There was no coordination at all. I ran into the bushes and I didn't even know the bushes were there. It could have been a kid, it could have been a person. No, I wouldn't do it, not at all"

That's exactly the point the Army Substance Abuse Program campaign is trying to get across. Fort Sill's Stephanie Armel said they want to educate the soldiers on what it means to drive while impaired, especially during the holidays, with lots of parties and lots of alcohol.

"To kind of give them an idea of what the impact of their actions can be on the community and here at Fort Sill," Armel said. "With our soldiers going home for the holidays for the exodus season, this gives them a chance to have hands-on before they go back to their communities with some good education and knowledge."

And while today's impaired-driving obstacle course was not real, these soldiers all knew the real consequences of driving while impaired

"It destroys your career. If you get a DUI, you can pretty much close the curtain on that deal. It's a wrap pretty much. The way the army is transitioning, it's very hard to escape a DUI and still be successful in the military"

The impaired-driving demonstration will be set up on post every Thursday through the month of December.

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