Students were swerving, jerking and nearly running over people’s toes Monday when given the chance to see what it was like to drive under the influence.

A driving under the influence simulator and obstacle course were set up in the University Center Palo Duro Lounge to demonstrate how a person cannot control their motor skills, said Donielle Smith, Health Promotion and Substance Abuse coordinator.

“I didn’t kill anyone,” said political science senior Bhavik Patel as he rounded the last turn of the obstacle course. Patel said he felt like he did well on the course, but if it moved faster it would be a lot more difficult.

Participants on the obstacle course wore a pair of goggles that simulated a drunk driver’s vision. They would then try to follow a black-striped line while riding a pedal go-kart.

Patel said he was definitely not in control of the go-kart used on the obstacle course.

Medical technology senior Ngoc Cao, who volunteered at the obstacle course, said the goggles show people what they are really seeing when they drink, even though they feel fine.

“It is so we know how we drive when we drink and it is not easy,” Cao said.

Smith said the simulator was set up to show people how it felt to drive with a blood alcohol content of approximately .17 percent. A blood alcohol content of .08 percent is the amount considered to be intoxicated in Texas.

Business freshman Grayson Birka said the simulator felt just like a video game, but jerked the controls to force the car off the road.

“I was driving normal and it pulled me off the road,” Birka said. “I don’t know if that is how driving drunk really is.”

Smith said the simulator is set up every year as part of UTA Recovery Week. UTA Recovery Week corresponds with National Recovery Month to promote the prevention, treatment and recovery for mental and substance use disorders.


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