Students get crash course on impaired driving before prom and graduation

About 100 students participated in Friday's impaired driving simulations

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s prom and graduation season, so South Hadley Police thought it would be a good time to give students a simulated experience of what it’s like to drive when you’re impaired.

Students put on goggles that impair their vision, and drove golf carts through traffic cones on a course. They were also asked to walk on lines, and run around cones.

Officer Doug Percy told 22News the program’s made a difference since they started it eight years ago. “I see a lot less OUI arrests within our department with minors versus people who are of the age to drink.”

About 100 students participated in Friday’s impaired driving simulations. The event was targeted toward juniors and seniors, and other students with licenses. “I know obviously before this it’s definitely not smart to drink and drive,” Julia Sarrazin said. “But even if people are going to be drinking, you definitely shouldn’t get behind the wheel.”

The police department collaborated with the fire department and state highway division for this program.