Lowry freshmen learn about “Fatal Vision”

Lowry freshmen learn about “Fatal Vision”

Lowry freshmen learn about “Fatal Vision”

Lowry High School students in health classes experienced some “Fatal Vision” on Wednesday. As part of a drunk driving prevention program, they drove a Winnemucca Police Department (WPD) OHV through a cone-lined obstacle course while wearing vision-distorting goggles.

The goggles are made by Fatal Vision and simulate a .07 to .1 blood alcohol concentration.

Students gave different descriptions of how the goggles affected their vision. One said they “made things more shiny,” for instance. Some tried to turn their heads to lessen the effect.

WPD officer Dulce Obregon rode in the OHV with the student during the obstacle course. Students had to make turns and stops and avoid “Dead Fred,” the WPD dummy in a wheelchair. Dale and Arlene Lunen, who present part of the drunk driving prevention program, counted how many cones the student driver hit or ran over. 

Arlene Lunen said she added a couple of cones to the total if Obregon had to grab the wheel to keep the OHV on track.

Even students with driving experience had trouble navigating the cones. Dale Lunen said no one drove the obstacle course without hitting at least one cone. And it didn’t matter if the driver took it slowly. Sometimes being overly cautious was as bad as being reckless.

The drunk driving prevention program lasts three class days during health classes. On Monday, officers from WPD taught about drunk driving. On Wednesday, the students drove the obstacle course, and on Friday, the Lunens “bring it into reality” with their personal experience.

The Lunens got involved in the drunk driving prevention program 21 years ago after losing their son to a drunk driver. They took a year “to grieve and try to make sense of life,” then decided to do something to prevent the same tragedy from happening to someone else.

They said the first time they conducted a mock crash in Mullen, it was “eye-opening” for everyone involved. No one was ready for the raw experience, and it made a big impact.

The Lunens moved to Winnemucca from northern Idaho and  brought the program to Lowry in 1997. Arlene Lunen said the obstacle course was longer and more complicated when classes lasted for 90 minutes, but students got the point, even with the shorter track.

When asked what she thought of the day’s object lesson, one student said “I know now not to drink and drive.”