I’m not a big drinker. I never have a drink at lunch (I would be too tired at work if I did that) and I have one drink at most when I go out to dinner (almost always wine or beer). I’m a “lightweight” drinker and when I have more than one drink I feel it, which is something I’m not particularly interested in experiencing anymore.

I’ve seen many articles in our local paper regarding high school kids learning about the dangers of drunk driving by wearing goggles that simulate being drunk.

I wrote about this in my monthly newsletter and wanted to share it again here, along with an informative note from a reader.

I understood the concept of the goggles, but I didn’t fully understand it until I did it myself. And now I’m even less likely to have even one drink on a night I am driving.

We had a health fair in our office and alongside blood pressure readings, a nutritionist, and dentists, stood a woman with a pair of goggles, which she encouraged us to wear while we tried to walk on a winding path marked on a mat.

I watched a couple of my colleagues attempt the exercise. They were inching along slowly in order to try to stay on the path. That was a red flag and they were advised if this had been a real sobriety test the next words they would have heard would have been, “You’re under arrest.”

One of my colleagues asked, “Did I do well?”

“No,” he was told, “And you’re not supposed to do well! That’s the point.”

I took a different approach from my tiptoeing colleagues. I put on the goggles and quickly walked the path. The result? The leader had to catch me before I stumbled into a bystander. I removed the goggles and had to get a glass of water because I was so dizzy.

I was already mindful of the dangers of drinking and driving, but that exercise took my awareness to a new level.

It’s good to live in an era where driving under the influence is much less of a problem than it used to be. Many peers have discussed how lucky we were not to have killed ourselves or anyone else “back in the day” when we were teens.

Teenage drinking is still a problem, more than when the drinking age was 18, but fortunately kids seem to understand the importance of designated drivers (in part because of simulator goggles.)

After my newsletter, one reader wrote the following to me:

I had the chance to try those goggles when I went through the Citizens’ Police Academy in my town. They were really scary. I thought I was walking on the line, but nope! Some did other tests. For example, they drank a certain number of beers and then did the breathalyzer test. They also did the field sobriety test on the people that drank and although some of them felt fine, they did not pass the tests. It does not take much alcohol to fail the tests that the police do. It’s a risk I’d rather not take! My husband and I try to instill this in our children as well.

If you have an opportunity, try the simulation googles, or one of the other tests the reader wrote to me about. It can be a big wake-up call.

Have you used the simulator goggles? What was your experience? Please join the conversation with your comments…

Best regards,