The ‘drunk driving suit’ was developed to emulate the physical impact of alcohol impairment. Amy Reid of the Surrey Now-Leader was game. (Photo: Trevor Beggs)

VIDEO: Surrey Now-Leader reporter wears drunk suit to drive – and type

Ford is using the suit to teach safe driving to teens

EDITOR’S NOTE: Not only did our very own Amy Reid try out the ‘drunk driving suit’ from Ocean Park Ford, she wrote the first few graphs while still wearing it… (So no angry emails complaining about spelling mistakes please…)

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Sitting here in South soothes trying to write in dreunk driving suit is harder than it sounds.

I can’t see what I; typing but can only hope some of this is legallbal

The suit is intended to mici what its like to drive drunk, and teachers teens all over the county what its like to feel impairs.

Think you can drive drunk? Think again.

I can barely type like this. a

–––

Well, I didn’t hit any cones, or anything else, but I sure got a first-hand account today of why no one should ever drink and drive.

How, you ask?

It all began when I was asked if I’d try out the Ford Drunk Suit.

The simulation tool was developed with the Meyer Hentschel Institute to study how different physical conditions can impair one’s ability to drive.

See also: Mother of Surrey drunk driving victim makes her case in Ottawa

The suit is used in the Ford’s Driving Skills For Life program to teach teens the dangers of driving while intoxicated.

Soon, the company will release a Drugged Driving Suit, to emulate that impairment.

But today, it was all about the drunk suit.

As promised, the get up made it hard to do simple tasks, like walk in a straight line, or type on a computer.

It paints a clear picture about what it feels like to drive under the influence.

There were a lot of laughs as I strapped on the ankle weight, the wrist weights, the ear muffs to mute sound and the padding to my neck and knees.

But perhaps most impairing were the goggles.

Not only did they create tunnel vision, but the world around me appeared to be a cartoon.

And my depth perception was way off.

I could barely get into the car, let alone put my seat belt on.

I think my top speed was 3 kilometres per hour as I weaved through cones and amazingly, I didn’t hit a single one.



edit@surreynowleader.com

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But even at such low speeds, this felt dangerous.

So while it was fun, the seriousness of the reason I was there is anything but.

The dangers of driving while intoxicated have been well-documented.

ICBC says each year in B.C. 66 people die in crashes involving impaired driving, and it remains one of the top three contributors factors in fatal crashes.

Of all the traffic fatalities in B.C., roughly 23 per cent of them are related to impaired driving.

Most occur on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, and 40 per cent take place at night, between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m.

People aged 16 to 25 account for the highest number of impaired drivers in crashes (28 per cent) and males account for 70 per cent of impaired drivers, accoridng to ICBC.

So after getting a first-hand account of what it feels like to get behind the wheel when drunk, I urge no one to follow suit.

Make a smart choice.

Don’t add to the already horrific statistics.

See also: Car accidents on the rise in Surrey

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