As part of a unit on drugs and alcohol, Hockinson High School health teacher Leslie Pershall is giving her students the opportunity to use impairment goggles to get a sense of how dangerous it can be to drive under the influence.
On Monday her students took turns wearing goggles that simulate a blood-alcohol level of 0.05 and 0.08-0.10 and trying to walk a straight line.
“It’s a way to understand there are consequences to your actions,” Pershall said. “It’s best to make good decisions in the first place.”
A student named Mitchell tried to describe the experience. “Not fun,” he said. “My feet felt like they were here”—he pointed a yard out to the side—“and the line went like that”—he drew a curve in the air.
“You feel like you’re going to fall over,” added Kylie, another student.
“It skews your vision and is disorienting,” explained Clark County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Granneman, Hockinson’s school resource officer, who loaned the goggles to Pershall’s class. “It gives them a perception of what the world looks like when you’re intoxicated.”
“Why would anybody in that state try to get in a vehicle?” Pershall asked.