Wednesday, Plainview High School students got a dizzying lesson in not drinking and driving.
During lunch, kids were able to try on goggles meant to simulate being impaired. Then, they could try their hand at playing catch, walking around a line of traffic cones or lobbing a ball through a basketball hoop in the cafeteria. Students laughed and encouraged each other as they took shaky, misplaced steps and missed the hoop by a mile.
Plainview Assistant Principal Johni Bell, who was supervising, said the event was part of the school’s Red Ribbon Week. She said the idea was to show students firsthand how dangerous driving while impaired is.
“Some of them show the BAC (blood alcohol content),  but it’s to show them what they would see if they were under the influence of that particular drug,” Bell said. “There’s also one that symbolizes fatigue. You don’t think that much about fatigue making you more
impaired, but it does.”
Bell said the school stages different activities for Red Ribbon Week every year, like a balloon launch or themed days. On Wednesday, the school also handed out thumb bands meant to remind students to not text and drive.
“We don’t have room outside because of the construction and parking lot being so small, we don’t have room to get the kids out there and have them drive a Gator with the goggles on,” Bell said. “They’d see how difficult it would be, especially to have the phone in their hand.”  
Ardmore Police Department loaned the school a set of seven goggles for the demonstration. Each pair distorts the wearer’s vision in a different way, mimicking different blood alcohol levels or the effects of a different drug.
“Some students will see the significance of this,” Bell said. “And if we can make an impact, even in a lighthearted way, on any level, that’s what our goal is.”