LETHBRIDGE, AB – Drunk driving is never the right choice.
That’s the lesson Ford Canada is trying to pass along as part of an awareness campaign. As St. Patrick’s Day approaches, the company is showcasing its ‘drunk driving suit’.
The suit simulates the effects of driving while intoxicated. It includes weights for your legs and arms, as well as soundproof headphones and goggles creating the visual effects of various levels of intoxication.
In Lethbridge, the public and members of the media were able to try the suit at Dunlop Ford Thursday morning.
“(The suit) actually shows the effects of drinking and how it affects your coordination and ability to do even simple things like walking through a set of cones,” said Shaun Henderson, the general sales manager and partner at Dunlop Ford.
Henderson said this is the first time the local dealer has hosted an exhibition like this. He said the reception from attendees has bee great.
“It’s been a lot of fun and there’s been some good giggles, but I think everyone’s realizing that this is a serious matter and the fact that people can’t walk through a set of cones with a little bit of impairment means that they shouldn’t be getting behind the wheel of a car,” Shaun Henderson of Dunlop Ford in Lethbridge.
The suit was set up only for Thursday, but Henderson said Ford Canada has other suits such as a hangover suit, a drug-impairment suit and a pregnancy suit.
“I think this is something you’ll see on a quarterly (basis),” he said.
“This is something that Ford does, and they’re actually looking at our local area and bringing it in to help out students and young drivers to really help sink in those lessons early in their driving career.”
Country 95.5 announcers Nevin Sereda and Gillian MacLeod tested out the suit.
“I’m not one for drinking and driving, but going into this test and doing this suit, it really opens your eyes to the effects you feel just by walking,” Sereda said.
“The simulator was very accurate as to how you feel once you’ve had a few drinks,” MacLeod added.
“So, it’s not like something that you would just laugh at and walk away after because it’s really realistic and it’s very interesting to see from a sober point of view what it would be like being intoxicated. I don’t think I could ever drive like that.”
Sereda added that, “it’s a very serious matter and the fact that Ford is doing this is awesome. I hope it expands just past the dealership (with) going to schools, going to colleges, things like that for people to actually understand how important it is to not get behind the wheel while you’re drinking.”
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