Kelsey Davis – Reporter
MARRERO, La. — While people across the city of New Orleans celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with adult beverages, students at Archbishop Shaw High School got a hands on lesson on the dangers of alcohol.
The Arrive Alive tour made a stop at Shaw on Tuesday. The tour puts students inside a high tech simulator to see exactly what it feels like to drive drunk. Many students were shocked to find out they could not complete the task of driving down the road — while under the influence or while texting.
“I thought that it would be a lot easier than it was, but when I started texting, I wasn’t quite sure if I was even in the right lane,” said Nicholas Williams, a senior.
“This is a very real thing that they face a lot. And anything to give them exposure to making the right choices, I feel is very important,” said Cindy Williams, one of Shaw’s guidance counselors and the student government sponsor. “For adolescents, it’s all about making the right choices and helping them become a better person.”
With many students preparing to get behind the wheel alone for the first time and with prom and graduation approaching, everyone at Shaw understands the importance of the tour and the lessons it can teach the students.
“I hope they take away the importance of safe driving and put down the phones and learn that distracted driving can cause real life consequences down the road,” said Mitchell.
The students say these are lessons they can pass along to friends at other schools and their families.
“I tend to not text that often, but this definitely doesn’t make me want to anymore,” said Williams.
“Just seeing how bad I crashed, I know that could be in real life and it could affect me and my parents and other people,” said Reid.
Shaw was awarded a $25,000 grant from State Farm that allowed them to bring the tour to their campus. It will also help fund elective courses like career education, film and entrepreneurship.