More than 10,000 deaths resulted from driving under the influence, according to a 2017 study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Martinsburg High School students got the chance to get behind the wheel of a DUI simulator to find out just how dangerous driving while intoxicated can be.
The West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Administration (WVABCA) DUI simulator program brought the interactive simulator. Officials say driving ability can be affected by the slightest amount of alcohol.
“That it is something. That is real,” said Dan Pickens, DUI simulator coordinator.
Ninth grader Brylee Simmons says it was challenging to successfully drive in the simulator.
“Very difficult, especially remembering where the brake is,” she said.
“All the courses are designed to make them have to use their fine motor skills and reaction time,” said Pickens. “All the skills that alcohol diminishes.”
In 2016, 2,017 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes where drivers had lower alcohol levels, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“There’s no magic number where it starts to impair. It starts as soon as you start ingesting,” said Pickens.
Simmons says her focus is to make good decisions behind the wheel.
“My main goal is to never drink in my life,” said Pickens.
Since the program was launched in November of 2010, over 45,000 students have participated.