JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Florida Highway Patrol demonstrates fatal vision goggles to convince people why it’s important to make safe decisions if you’ve partaken in even a small amount of alcoholic beverages.
It’s all part of a campaign by FHP and others -- including Project Roadblock and Tow-2-Go -- to prevent accidents over the News Year’s Eve holiday. (See resources at end of this story)
“We want them to make lasting memories, but not make them their last," FHP Master Sgt. Dylan Bryan said. “Obviously, find a designated driver if they tend to partake in alcoholic beverages through the holiday season."
Before trying on the FHP’s goggles that simulate having consumed enough alcohol to make you well over the legal limit to drive, I was tasked with walking 10 steps heel to toe. With the goggles on, I took the same 10 steps and failed.
That’s just walking. Driving under the influence can put you and other drivers at risk.
"If alcohol hits your lips, your hands don’t hit the wheel,” Bryan said. “There’s no excuse for DUI any longer. There’s so many avenues and resources out there available to you, even free of charge, to get you from that hazardous situation home safely.”
Even if you haven’t been drinking, there are other factors involved in staying safe if driving on New Year’s Eve or early in the New Year.
“Reduce the amount of distractions that they have," Bryan said. “You know, just drive with a little more common sense. A little bit more patience. There’s going to be a lot more people on the road so we want people to be safe as possible.”
The Florida Department of Transportation has a celebrate safely campaign that includes a list of nonalcoholic holiday drinks to help you celebrate while remaining sober. Click to get these Recipes for the Road.
If you do plan on drinking to ring in the New Year, then plan in advance a safe way to get home. It could be the difference between life and death.
Resources to help put the brakes on drunk and buzzed driving and get you home safely: