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New goggles give students impaired view

Several State Farm Insurance agents recently joined with OHP’s Ironton post to teach teenage drivers how coordination and balance are impaired when they drink and drive.

Monday, October 23, 2000

Several State Farm Insurance agents recently joined with OHP’s Ironton post to teach teenage drivers how coordination and balance are impaired when they drink and drive.

With the help of the agents, troopers purchased special goggles – known as Fatal Vision goggles – that mimic the affects of alcohol.

Teenagers can wear the goggles to get a first-hand experience of what alcoholic beverages can do to them, OHP trooper Chris Smith said.

"The Fatal Vision goggles are used in several different educational programs in area high schools," Smith said. "We target the pre-prom educational programs and drivers’ education programs to give students a sober look at how the use of alcohol will impair their ability to drive a motor vehicle."

The goggles simulate two different levels of intoxication, he added.

"We start out doing the field test with out the goggles," he said. "Then, we go to the legal limit goggles, which shows students what vision is like if they were to test right at 0.08 to 0.10."

Afterward, they try goggles that are twice the legal limit.

"Ironically, these sober students wearing the goggles test almost exactly the same as individuals who have consumed alcohol," Smith said.

In other words, they wobble and cannot walk a straight line, he said.

"We want these students to see how their abilities are affected."

Another pair of goggles shows what drug impairment vision is like.

"They actually show the double vision and gives students the same impairment as though the were actually using illegal drugs," Smith said. "All of the goggles show how a person’s vision is changed. People often don’t think their vision changes, but it does and these goggles are an excellent demonstration of that."