20130923_111904In 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.

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