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Students learn dangers of drunk driving and texting behind the wheel

In an effort to keep Halifax County High School students safe during prom night, the South Boston Police Department, Halifax County Sheriff’s Office, Virginia State Police, Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program and Halifax Police Department visited the high school Thursday warning students about what can happen when a person gets behind the wheel after drinking alcohol or texting while driving.

The simulated driving exercises were part of the RISE program, an acronym for Responsibility Improving Safety Education.

Prom is Saturday night, and police are joining forces to make students aware of the dangers of drunk and distracted driving before they hit the road enroute to their big night, according to South Boston Police Capt. B. K. Lovelace. 

RISE has a mission to provide students with the best prevention tools possible to deal with the issues of underage drinking, drug use, impaired driving and other destructive decisions, Lovelace said.

“The RISE program has provided the students at Halifax County High School strategies to avoid drinking and driving. Students are able to participate in simulation activities to encourage them not to drink and drive,” Principal Albert Randolph said.

According to Lovelace, each year during prom week students are given information about the dangers of impaired driving and afforded an opportunity to wear fatal vision goggles, while driving golf carts provided by Bridgeview Express simulating the drunk driving experience. 

Students also have an opportunity to perform the field sobriety test.

This year the students also were able to participate in a distracted driving simulation to see how dangerous it is to text while driving. 

During the simulation, students were asked to pull their phones out and text a message given to them by police officers as they drove the golf carts.

“This is a good experience for them, allowing them to see what can happen,” Halifax County Sheriff Fred Clark said.