In preparation for Homecoming, UWG’s Health Services office last week presented Alcohol Awareness Week to educate students about the dangers of alcohol-related injuries and illness.
In a survey of 970 UWG students this year, 56.9 per cent said they’d drank alcohol in the past 30 days. Nearly 34.8 per cent reported binge drinking in the past two weeks. Additionally, more than 25 per cent said they’d had some form of alcohol-related misconduct in the past year, such as fighting, drunk driving, or trouble with police.
In conjunction with Health Service, Campus police Monday, Sept. 23, set up an obstacle course outside Ingram Library to demonstrate the perception of intoxicated driving. Students were encouraged to don drunk-driver simulation goggles and try the numerous test and games that were on hand. The goggles simulate a blood alcohol level .18, more than twice the limit in Georgia.
Ashley Gibson, a sophomore at UWG, shared her experienced after attempting to tackle the obstacle course.
“It was scary because it made heart beat really fast to know that my vision was blurred,” Gibson said. “I would have to say that it was very accurate, I never been that drunk [as the goggles simulated]. After doing the course I am ten times more responsible.”
Responsibility is the university’s goal, and Ron King, lead health educator for Health Services said knowledge is the key to safety.
“Our goal here at Health Services is to help students make wise choices,” said King. “Drinking and driving is a third leading cause of death in the United States. We want the students to adopt healthy decision making as it relate to alcohol.”
Tuesday, Health Services asked students questions and facts about alcohol awareness, giving out incentives for those who answered correctly. The incentives also included information about what to look for when others may be intoxicated.
The Arrive Alive Tour reality vehicle also visited the UCC Wednesday. The outfitted Jeep is capable of mimicking unsafe driving practices, including driving under the influence and text messaging. The computerized SUV is able to slow perceived reaction times and distract drivers, said Chris Bennett, a representative of the tour.
“We want all students to be aware of the consequences if they do choose decide to drink,” King said. “Hopefully by the end of this week we can help our students more responsible drinkers and friends to those who are intoxicated.”
To find out more information about Health Services Activities or information about alcohol awareness, visit westga.edu/UWGcares.