Fatal Vision is an interactive program to educate the community about impaired driving and its disastrous impact. It is targeted toward persons aged 15–18 years old, at a time when they are beginning to drive and make choices that could affect the rest of their life regarding alcohol consumption.
"For several years now, this program has enabled us to have very close contact with the middle and high school population in Calcasieu Parish relative to the responsibilities and duties of drivers behind the wheel of an automobile," says District Attorney John DeRosier.
The program, created by the Calcasieu Parish District Attorney’s Office, is a powerful tool for showing the effects of driving while impaired. Fatal Vision differs from many other programs because of its interactive nature. It simulates impairment through goggles that distort vision and cause behaviors that are similar to those exhibited by someone under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Participants are put through a series of activities, including driving a golf cart, that enable them to see and feel the reality of drinking and driving.
"Young drivers are given the opportunity, with the utilization of the specially equipped "Fatal Vision" golf cart and related equipment, to experience imparied driving," says DeRosier. "For example, placing keys in the ignition is difficult when wearing the "impaired vision" goggles. Driving a straight line can be extremely difficult, not to mention maneuvering around and through obstacles placed in th epath of the artificially impaired driver. The practical effects of delayed reaction time are also demonstrated to our young drivers who come away from the entire experience with a better understanding of what it is really like to be impaired."
The problem is serious. Statistics from 2011 show more than 1,700 Calcasieu Parish residents arrested for DWI. In that same year, 43% of Louisiana's fatal crashes involved alcohol, killing 291 people. The aim of Fatal Vision is to contribute to the reduction of those numbers.
For additional information or to schedule a Fatal Vision demonstration, contact the Calcasieu Parish District Attorney’s Office.