Bob Lighthall’s mission is clear: He has been charged with reducing the number of injuries and deaths due to alcohol- and other drug-related crashes. As coordinator of the Oswego County STOP-DWI Program in New York State, Bob travels across the county to speak with teenagers and young adults about the dangers of driving while impaired. He says that Innocorp, ltd. and its products help him deliver a more impactful presentation that has lasting results. “The kids are having fun during the presentations, but they’re also learning something,” he says. “They’re more likely to remember something they enjoyed doing.”
Whether he is speaking at a middle school, high school, or college fraternity, Bob always incorporates three components into his presentations — talking about his experiences as a sheriff’s deputy, showing a short video, and introducing an activity in which students can participate. Before he bought his first set of Fatal Vision® Alcohol Impairment Goggles, he didn’t have an interactive component to his presentation.
For his alcohol-related presentations, Bob uses the Bronze Label Goggles, which simulate an estimated blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .7 to .10, and the Red Label Goggles, which simulate an estimated BAC of .12 to .15. The legal limit for driving while under the influence of alcohol in New York is .8, and the average driving while impaired (DWI) arrest in the state is for a BAC of .15. “So those numbers truly represent something in our community,” he says.
Bob says he appreciates the fact that the color-coded goggles show the estimated BAC clearly on the label. They provide a visual reminder for both the participants and the other students in the class that this is how a person acts when he has exceeded the legal limit for drinking and driving.
Over the past few years, the Oswego County STOP-DWI Program has acquired about a dozen different activities that can be used with both the Fatal Vision® Alcohol Impairment Goggles and the Fatal Vision® Marijuana Simulation Experience Goggles. Those activities include the:
- DIES® (Danger in Every Step) Balcony Danger Mat
- DIES® Winding Sidewalk Mat
- Marijuana Experience Executive Function Maze Pack
- Fatal Vision® Roadster Pedal Kart
Bob has also used the alcohol and marijuana simulation goggles with activities he has created on his own, including a ball toss and a shape sorting activity in which the participant must fit shapes into the proper hole of a Tupperware toy. “An interactive presentation is shown to be the most effective way of getting your point across,” he says. “The Fatal Vision products have the scientific research to show that they work.”
STOP-DWI recently implemented a new program called Project Intervention for people under the age of 25 who have been charged with a drug-related offense. At a recent class, Bob was using the Fatal Vision® Marijuana Simulation Experience Goggles, and all 13 of the class participants said that when they were wearing the goggles, they were acting the same way they behaved when they were high. “I know that Innocorp got it right when it simulated the goggles to create the impairment,” says Bob.
Those students haven’t been the only participants who have gained a deeper understanding of their level of impairment. At a health fair, Bob worked with one woman who shared with him that she had recently been arrested for driving while intoxicated. After trying the Fatal Vision® Alcohol Impairment Goggles, she told Bob she had no idea how drunk she was that night. She had thought the police officer set her up, but she realized now that he was right to arrest her.
A sobering lesson
When Bob is making a presentation for a larger group, such as a pre-prom or pre-graduation demonstration, he often uses the Fatal Vision® Roadster Pedal Kart. The pedal kart is a vehicle that can be used with the Fatal Vision® Alcohol Impairment Goggles to simulate the experience of driving while under the influence of alcohol. For the demonstration, Bob uses about 200 cones to set up a course in a parking lot with lots of tight turns. Students try the course without the goggles first, usually hitting about six to 12 cones. Then, they put on the Fatal Vision® Red Label Goggles, which simulate a BAC of .12 to .15. With the goggles, they typically hit 30 to 40 of the cones.
“I tell them that these aren’t just cones — they are pedestrians,” says Bob. “If you touch a cone, you’ve killed a pedestrian. It makes a big impact on the kids — some of them become stressed out and can’t even complete the course.”
The Oswego County STOP-DWI Program reaches more than 9,000 people every year. Bob says he knows he is making a difference in program participants’ lives because whenever he runs into teenagers on the street, they tell him so. “Our message is, don’t drive — get a ride,” he says. “Have a sober plan. And they tell me they do have a plan.”