BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. -- Briarcliff High School students had the opportunity to safely learn what it’s like to get behind the wheel after drinking, thanks to the Westchester County Department of Public Safety’s simulator.
Seniors, juniors and sophomores with a driving permit tried “driving” during the day or night with various levels of impairment in the simulator, which mimics alcohol or drug-related side effects, including delayed reactions.
The simulator arrived on campus one day before prom, an important time to remind students about the dangers of alcohol and drugs, said student assistance counselor Kari Giordano.
“We want to prepare them for the worst, not scare them,” said Giordano. “We want to bring light to some of the issues.”
Westchester County Police Officer Christopher Grasso told participating students that the department arrests about 600 people a year who are suspected of being impaired while driving, due to either alcohol or marijuana use.
“It slows down your reactions,” said Grasso.
Senior Russell Francis said he was curious about what he could learn from the simulator.
“It was a good idea to show how it feels to be a drunk driver,” said Francis. “I thought it was a good experience.”
Juniors Matt Murray and Nick Beninati both also said they know people who were killed because of impaired drivers.
“I would never do that,” said Murray.
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