MANCHESTER, N.H. – Over a thousand graduating students from Manchester’s public high schools gathered outside SNHU Arena on Wednesday morning in an event aiming to prevent needless deaths.
Organized by the New Hampshire Liquor Commission in association with Manchester Police Department, the event was geared toward educating students about the dangers of intoxicated, tired and distracted driving.
In addition to learning about law enforcement techniques aimed at stopping intoxicated driving, students also got a chance to participate in a “virtual impaired driving simulator.” Students also got a chance to try out real-life impaired driving simulation using specialized googles simulating a 1.0 blood alcohol content level and a specialized golf cart on a small course in the arena’s parking lot.
Ariana Seymore, a graduating senior from Manchester Memorial High School with two years of driving experience, was shocked after taking a turn with the goggles and golf cart.
“It was kind of crazy, I didn’t expect it to be that hard to drive. I expected to be a little hard, but I wasn’t expecting it to be as hard as it was. Definitely hit a lot of cones over there,” she said. “It was kind of scary.”
New Hampshire Liquor Commission Division of Enforcement and Licensing director Mark Armaganian hopes this event, the first of its kind in Manchester, will help local students make good decisions when it comes to safe driving.
“Too many times, negative events happen due to the misuse of alcohol and this is just our opportunity to show the students what the negative effects could be in a very safe environment,” he said.