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Editorial: Drinking and driving is a not a game

In today’s world, with services like Uber, Lyft and the Hilltop Safety Cruiser, drunk driving seems to not be as pervasive of an issue as it once was. However, this week Bradley’s campus had a serious reminder of just how real the subject is.

This past Monday morning, a student was pulled over by the Bradley University Police Department for drunk driving after an officer noticed the vehicle was driving dangerously on three flat tires. When the officer approached him, the driver was unable to even complete the simple actions of rolling down his window or removing his driver’s license from his wallet.

Fortunately, there was not any harm to the student or others from this individual’s choice to drive while being intoxicated. A big part of that is thanks to BUPD’s patrol work on campus and in the nearby community.

However, this incident could have had a very different and far more tragic result if the BUPD officer had not pulled over the car.

This week, Bradley’s organization for health, empowerment and teaching (HEAT), hosted its B.E.E.R. drive where students can take part in a drunk driving simulation. The simulation consisted of eating McDonald’s chicken nuggets, wearing “beer goggles” that blur vision and driving a golf cart around Olin Quad.

The mere process of this simulation is not accurate enough to reflect the real situation of drunk driving. There are more factors to consider than impaired vision and diet when it comes to drinking and driving.

When simulating drunk driving, it is easy to mimic the physical effects of alcohol, but it is more of a challenge to replicate the mental effects and how it affects bystanders. In addition, it is also challenging to include the scenario where a police officer pulls you over or the consequences of a DUI.

It is imperative that college students fully understand the risks of drinking and driving if they are to take part in a hands-on learning experience.

While the B.E.E.R. drive was an easy and memorable way to warn students against drunk driving, we believe there are better ways to educate Bradley students on the effects of drunk driving that are more appropriate.

One Comment

  1. Bradley Student Bradley Student April 25, 2019

    So what are your “more appropriate” suggestions?Any attempt to simulate the mental impairments of intoxication sounds more harmful than educational and just like you said, it’s more challenging to recreate, so why not focus on the physical impairments? The BEER drive isn’t intended to provide a “real” drunk driving experience. If you participated and thought you were going to experience true drunkenness, you missed the point. The BEER drive is an interactive, engaging, and educational activity that simulates only the aspects that are able to be replicated safely. Most people I know who partook said that it was challenging to navigate, but they were glad they attended because they had never realized just how much being drunk impairs just your vision and motor skills alone. Personally, I never understood just how hard it is to coordinate until I put on the beer goggles at a HEAT-sponsored LNBU event and tried to maneuver through an obstacle course on foot. It’s marketed as fun and silly to get students to participate, but there truly is educational value. If the Scout is going to be so critical, you may as well provide some suggestions of substance.

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