December 19, 2014

Drive Safe During the Holidays

The Naperville Police Department is cracking down on drunk driving from now until January 4, so “drive sober, or get pulled over!”

“Everybody is typically off work within the next week or two, and alcohol goes hand in hand with the Christmas holiday and New Years holiday,” said Derek Zook, Naperville Police Sergeant. “It’s a big time of year for us to get out there and do the enforcement of alcohol and impaired driving. And a lot of travelers on the roadway, so we’re going to look at seatbelts too.”

This is a part of a statewide initiative to curb drunk driving during the holidays.

“This year I think we’re at about 370 DUIs for the year, which is a little bit less than last year, we may have a busy season but hopefully we don’t. Hopefully it’s a quiet season,” said Zook.

To experience the effects of driving while drunk, I went over to the Naperville Police Department to take on the sobriety test given by Sergeant Zook and Officer Hestand.

After putting on the night vision drunk goggles, we started with the balance test, where I had to try and stand with my foot six inches off the ground for 30 seconds.

I stumbled, fell over and failed miserably so I went onto the second test, walking a straight line. Switching to the daytime drunk goggles was no help. Again, I stumbled around and didn’t pass the test.

“As you can see she’s having some trouble just standing there, raising her hands up in the air, swaying to the right, and she stepped off the line,” said Zook.

Stacking blocks in order was the last test, which helps realize how skewed your spatial judgment is while drinking. It took me about 30 seconds to complete.

After I took off the goggles, I finished everything in just five seconds, a sobering reminder of how distances can be distorted when you’re under the influence. Now that my vision is intact, it’s clear to see that one last drink, may be one too many.


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