Outside the lines

Fatal Vision goggles simulate effects of drunk driving for students

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Janet LaClair hangs on as her friend Tianna Moter, 17, navigates her way through a course Wednesday in the Lake City High parking lot which students used to drive a golf cart while wearing goggles that simulated the effects of being intoxicated.

COEUR d'ALENE - Tianna Moter was driving like she was drunk, but she wasn't.

The straight-and-sober Lake City High School student was wearing Fatal Vision goggles Wednesday as she tried to maneuver a golf cart around and between bright orange cones set up in the school's parking lot.

The goggles distort a wearer's visual ability, mimicking that of a person with .17 to .20 blood alcohol content. The legal limit for a driver in Idaho is .08.

"Hopefully, it's an eye-opener," said Coeur d'Alene Police Officer Andy Sterling, Lake City's school resource officer. "She has no idea she's going outside those cones that far."

"It felt like everything was unbalanced," Moter said.

The simulated drunk driving experience was part of Lake City High School's observance of Red Ribbon Week, a drug prevention movement that takes place each October in school districts throughout the nation.

Schools throughout North Idaho are hosting Red Ribbon events all week.

"We honor Red Ribbon Week as a symbol to recognize those who have suffered from the harmful effects of substance use," said Amy Bartoo, spokewoman for the Idaho Drug Free Youth program.

It's also a way to raise awareness to reduce the demand for illegal drugs, and to remind people to use legal substances, like alcohol, in moderation, Bartoo said.

John Freeman, 17, a member of Lake City High School's chapter of IDFY, said the group has helped him stay drug free. He joined in the sixth grade.

Putting on the goggles showed Freeman that drinking impairs more than a person's judgment.

"Your vision is highly impaired. I don't think people realize that. Just walking around, things looked weird," Freeman said.

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