TITUSVILLE, Fla. – It’s the time of year that high schoolers celebrate homecoming with spirit week leading up to the biggest football game of the season, the crowning of the homecoming king and queen, and the traditional homecoming dance.
It’s also the time of year when Titusville police fear teenagers will be tempted to drink and drive.
Seventeen years ago two Titusville teenagers drove drunk and it cost them their lives. That crash still haunts the Titusville Police Department and Officer Tyrone Logan.
“The Titusville Police Department, we responded to a call in 2006 that claimed the lives of two young teens that were impaired,” Logan said. “Ever since then, our goal has been not just to show up at these scenes, but provide prevention.”
Officer Logan brought the prevention to Temple Christian School just before homecoming this month – a sobering simulation for the students.
It was a simple test: trying to walk a straight line while wearing special goggles.
Students Joseph Garvin and Kylie Snyder tried and failed.
“Does it feel like it’s almost impossible?” Logan asked them. “Understand if you can’t do this and you’re not impaired by any drugs or alcohol, we can agree too that, you shouldn’t be operating a car.”
Snyder, a high school junior, said it was a wake-up call.
“It was super confusing, I couldn’t get a grip of any of my surroundings and everything was impaired,” Snyder said.
Logan brings the “fatal vision” drunk-driving-simulating goggles to every high school in Titusville every year right around homecoming so the celebration will never end in tragedy again.
Temple Christian Principal Angela Hood has been coordinating the simulation with the Titusville Police Department for years.
“There are so many opportunities for kids to experiment and it’s terrifying,” Hood said. “There are so many scary options out there. And we want to prepare the students. And we want them to realize the right choices they should make.”
Hood said the simulation shows students the consequences of their choices, whether it’s driving drunk or riding with someone who is drunk.
“It’s dangerous,” Snyder said. “And I wouldn’t want to see any of my friends or anyone my age or anyone at all getting hurt because of this.”
Titusville police said since they started bringing the impairment goggles to schools they have not had any other serious accidents involving impaired teens.
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