Driving under the influence of alcohol is a hazardous activity that has resulted in the tragic loss of numerous lives. This is mainly because when individuals operate a vehicle while intoxicated, they struggle to maintain proper control over themselves. As a result, they often violate various rules and regulations set forth for safe driving.
Drunk driving has caused several accidents, leading to the creation of many laws to penalize those who still engage in this act. However, the Fukuoka Prefectural Police decided to take a fresh approach to solve this problem. Instead of only focusing on drunk driving laws, they aimed to raise awareness among people by showing them what can happen while drunk driving.
In order to demonstrate the dangers of drunk driving, a driving school was needed to help create a realistic scenario and provide the necessary cars. The Chikushino Driving School in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan, volunteered for the project, which took place on August 21st. The goal of the event was to give citizens a firsthand experience of the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol.
"We'll let you experience how much your driving changes before and after drinking," a spokesperson for the driving school had said.
What Happened at the Drunk Driving Tests
During a test, several incidents occurred, revealing that driving techniques can become impaired after consuming alcohol. A 26-year-old Mainichi Shimbun reporter named Hyelim Ha participated in the test to document her experience. Her colleague, Rokuhei Sato, aged 29, accompanied her in the same vehicle to report on the experience of driving while sober and after consuming alcohol.
The challenge included many stunts, such as driving across multiple obstacles; there was also an S curve to pass and a tight corner with many curves. So, in the challenge, Ha was to pass through each of these obstacles while being sober and, at the same time, try them out while being drunk.
During the sober stage, Ha completed the challenge without any difficulties, as expected. But things got worse while she was drunk. In the early stages, Ha said, "My hands are cold, and my heart's beating fast," yet she added, "I'm conscious and I feel like I can drive."
The Results of the Driving Tests
While drunk, Ha failed to keep to the basic drinking lesson techniques, such as reducing one's speed at curves and moving in the correct lane. Shojiro Kubota, vice head of the driving school, spoke about Ha's driving while drunk.
"You were entering the curve at a faster speed than before drinking. You also turned too widely, and the vehicle strayed into the opposite lane."
"Even though it slows the skills people need for driving, such as cognitive capacity, judgment, and vehicle maneuvering ability, the driver assumes they are driving safely -- that's the danger of drunken driving," he added.
Yoichi Furukawa, deputy chief of the prefectural police's traffic enforcement division, opined that people should stop drunk driving. "We call for people to make thorough risk management before drinking, such as not driving to izakaya pubs in the first place, on the premise that once they are drunk, they cannot make normal judgments," he said.