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Computer program a drinking deterrent for Oak Harbor students
Program aims to deter drinking
Gross! Gross! freshman Kim Smith said after seeing a rendering of her face after a DUI crash.
A computer program, Fatal Reflections, was used during Oak Harbor High Schools lunch period Thursday as part of a Choose to be BuzzFree pre-prom safety event.
Reflections shows the aftermath of one of six hypothetical situations, in which the student or one of their friends drove drunk.
Smiths computer scenario said she woke up the morning after a party, still intoxicated from the night before. Her digital driving killed both her passenger and a bicyclist.
The scenario also listed her blood alcohol concentration, a 0.10, and the charges she could face in court.
The image showed that I was bruised and my forehead was split open. That made me not want to drink, Smith said.
State Troopers Norm Larsen and Tim Yzaguirre gave students Fatal Vision goggles, to see through the eyes of a person with a 0.15 BAC.
Sophomore Ally Tennial struggled to stay upright in heels as she walked-the-line with goggles.
Its really eye-opening, Tennial said. A lot of people in high school are still exploring these issues.
People ages 16 to 20 are most often killed in car accidents, said JoAnn Hellman, executive director of the Impaired Driving Impact Panel of Island County. IDPIC hosts DUI prevention panels for underage drinkers island-wide, and Hellman helped organize Thursdays event.
I didnt expect the same mad rush we see at the middle schools, but a few students were curious. Everyone we get to do it will think about their choices, Hellman said.
Some students were hesitant to try the computer program, such as senior Kathryn Gorman. She didnt want to ruin her appetite for lunch.
Gorman said the BuzzFree program isnt an effective deterrent for everyone, but its fun to try.
Hellman said she thinks any approach is worth trying.
You know when youre a teenager, youre immortal. We try to find ways to connect with them.
Oak Harbor High Schools prom is tonight from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Drive safely.