Today: Jun 17, 2024

Chase Hall invites University police to an event

Braden Saint-Val – News Writer

Resident advisors at Chase Hall presented “Don’t Booze and Cruise” to residents last Tuesday in the hall’s lobby alongside University Police, to show the dangers of drinking and driving. 

Officer Phillip McKnight, who had previously served in the New Haven Police Department for 30 years, notes how the harmful and fatal outcomes of drunk driving can be avoided now more than ever. 

“When I started my career there weren’t many options of alternate transportation for young people. I mean the only thing you had was either your parents or yellow cab, but now today with Uber and Lyft and other driving services, I think their options to avoid drinking and driving is much better,” McKnight says. 

He also emphasized the importance of holding peers accountable and keeping them safe, so that they don’t make the mistake of getting on the road while drunk. 

As students trickled into the lobby, university police brought out drunk goggles, which simulate the effects of various levels of blood alcohol concentration, from 0.08%, the legal limit, to as high as 0.35%, which can lead to death. 

Using the drunk googles, residents helped demonstrate the walk-and-turn test, a DUI test where you walk heal to toe in a straight line for 9 seconds, turn around, and walk back for 9 seconds once more. 

It’s used to check a person’s balance and cognitive ability, which can be severely hindered when impaired or intoxicated through alcohol. 

At first, residents were hesitant to try them on, but eventually, some volunteered to take on the effects of alcohol during the walk-and-turn test. 

The test proved to be difficult, with some almost falling and needing assistance when wearing goggles that simulated higher blood alcohol levels. 

Freshman student Connor Richardson says that his vision shifted and became blurry, and had to look in his peripherals to see clearly. 

In 2019, 37.8% of fatalities in Connecticut were due to alcohol-impaired driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

With statistics like that and the understanding of alcohol’s effects both internally and externally, RAs at Chase Hall hope that residents are more conscious about drinking safely and taking the precautions to prevent themselves and their peers from taking the wheel while intoxicated.

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