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Local students take a different kind of test

Local students take simulated field sobriety tests to learn about safe, sober driving.

Posted: Dec. 7, 2017 6:40 PM
Updated: Dec. 8, 2017 6:28 AM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - Minnesota State Patrol visited Rochester Community and Technical College to remind students the importance of sober driving. 
 Roy Womack is a second-year student at RCTC. He said this event is a good reminder, especially this time of year. 

"There are so many people during the holidays that I'm pretty sure that they drink and drive. And this is a great ... awareness tip, I guess," he said.

He told us what suprised him the most about doing the sobriety tests. 

"I thought I could walk in a straight line perfectly without the goggles on," he said. "But with the goggles on, I was completely unable to put one foot in front of the other," he said. 

Beyond bringing awareness to sober driving, state troopers said this is a good way to also break down the wall between drivers and law enforcement. 

"I think often times they see the officer driving on the road and it seems like, 'well, I hope he doesn't stop me,'" Lt. Tiffany Nielson said. "Now we can come ask questions, and we get to know them better. I've learned a lot the students here, what they're studying, what their plans are."

She said 10 years ago, Minnesota had 40,000 DWI arrests.  This year it's about 25,000. 

"So we have seen a reduction, but that is still a significant amount of people making the decision to drink and drive," she said.

The event also had a table of 74 wrapped gifts to represent the 74 lives lost in 2016 due to alcohol-related crashes.

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