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Updated Jan 15, 2013 - 5:44 pm

Scottsdale students learn drunk, distracted driving dangers

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — About 150 students at the Thunderbird Adventist Academy got a lesson Tuesday that distracted or drunk driving could have serious consequences.

Senior Jacob Nagrette put on goggles that simulate being drunk and a Scottsdale police officer made him “walk the line,” much like he would if had pulled Nagrette over for DUI.

“Everything was really distorted, I couldn’t really tell where I was walking,” said Nagette. “Like, to me, it seemed like I was doing good, but to everyone else, it seemed like I was just swerving all around the lines.”

The students also got behind the wheel of a simulator and tried to drive while texting or making a phone call. Some of them drove so bad that, if it were real life, they would have had an accident and either ended up in the hospital or in jail.

The Eastern Association for Surgery of Trauma sponsored the event.

“Distractions are responsible for over 400,000 crashes per year and many deaths,” said Dr. A. Britton Christmas, a spokesman for the group. “If we can get the message out and prevent these injuries, that’s really the take home message.”

Christmas said it is very important to get this message out in Arizona.

“Because Arizona is one of only 11 states that does not have primary laws against texting and driving, we really see this as an opportunity to come in and get in touch with the students and the community. The reality is that if we’re able to save one life here today, then we’ve more than done our job.”

Many of the students said they will remember this day when they get behind the wheel.

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