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DUI decrease attributed to new driving simulator

Drunk driving is a factor in one-third of all traffic fatalities in the United States, including Virginia. States are looking for ways to decrease the incidence of drunk driving fatalities, citing ride-sharing services and law enforcement campaigns as examples of measures that may have had some positive effect. 

The West Virginia Beverage Consumption Control Administration is attempting to reach the youngest generation of drivers with a DUI simulator. It realistically mimics the effects that can occur at different levels of intoxication. 

Approximately 55,000 students in West Virginia have tried the DUI simulator since its introduction. West Virginia has recently seen the second-largest decrease in drunk driving fatalities nationwide. The program coordinator believes that the simulator is effective because it allows students to experience the difficulties involved in drunk driving for themselves in a safe environment. He believes that this interactive, hands-on experience is more valuable than a classroom lecture in which an instructor merely tells them the statistics. 

Adults hope that the simulator will help students to think about their responsibilities not only for themselves but their passengers and others on the road. Students think it is valuable to experience firsthand what could happen in a drunk driving crash. Many who have used the simulator reported surprise at the impairment that can result from only one or two drinks. 

The consequences of causing a fatality while driving drunk can be both severe and long-lasting. Adolescents and adults facing criminal charges related to DUI may benefit from the counsel of a criminal defense attorney. 


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