Party With A Purpose

By: Gary Smollen Email
By: Gary Smollen Email

It looks and sounds like a party, but there is no danger of anyone leaving the party drunk and getting behind the wheel of a car. The "party" is designed to open some eyes to the dangers of drinking and driving.

There was free booze and food along with a lot of laughter, but it was a controlled party. Law enforcement officers were on hand to monitor the test subjects who were drinking to get drunk. Then they were tested and what the test showed and they learned should open a few eyes.

It looks like your typical holiday party complete with a few people who have had a few too many drinks. Jessie Hillebrandt was having a great time and even though she was drinking more than she normally would, she didn't feel that she was too far gone. "I feel socially I would be fine, however I would never get behind the wheel of a car."

That's just what the officers do and the virtual driving test showed Jessie was right not to get behind the wheel. The next test was the official blood-alcohol test given to suspected drunk drivers. Legally drunk is .08 and Jessie’s number was higher than she expected.

"I had Coors Light beer, I probably had about five-and-a-half in about two-and-a-half hours, did not have a lot to eat beforehand and that was my final blow, was it 112? Yeah?"

The experiment outcomes surprised a few of the participants, but not the officials monitoring the intake and testing. Sarpy County recently re-prioritized repeat drunk driving offenders to match the danger they pose to everyone.

"Some of the most dangerous people out there are probably these second, third and fourth offense drivers who may have been in an accident and weren't ticketed at the time, now there is a warrant for their arrest and they haven't turned themselves in," said Sarpy County Sheriff Jeff Davis.

Sarpy County is encouraging people to pick up an I Care Cab Fare card, which works like a prepaid credit card, but it is only good for cab rides. Sheriff Davis says they can save lives.

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