Doña Ana County



Deputies with the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department gave students at New Mexico State University a grim reminder Wednesday of the consequences of drinking and driving, and helped provide an opportunity for students to pledge they will never choose to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after they’ve had a few too many.

The event, called I Have a Choice, wrapped up at 2 p.m. on the International Mall in front of Corbett Center. The focal point of the demonstration was a wrecked 1998 Dodge Intrepid which was involved in an alcohol-related crash in 2009 that killed two students from Santa Teresa High School.

The car was donated to the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department for use in anti-DWI awareness projects like the one on campus Wednesday.

“We hope students will take these reminders seriously,” said Delta Zeta sorority member Janelle Candelaria, who helped organize the event and recruited students passing by to make the pledge to not drink and drive. “Asking college students not to drink isn’t always a realistic goal, but asking them to make better choices and designate a driver is.”

Students also had the opportunity to wear a pair of Fatal Vision goggles, which simulates the effects of alcohol on your eyesight, reflexes and muscle coordination. After wearing the goggles and attempting to walk a straight line, NMSU freshman Bekah Baca said it was harder than she thought.

“It was definitely a wake-up call,” said Baca. “Most everyone has seen sobriety tests being given and it looks easy, but it’s not. I can’t imagine being able to pass that test after drinking.”
A mobile wall of students’ signatures was also part of the event. Each signature represented someone who made the pledge to not drink and drive or get in a car with a driver who had been drinking.

The Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department, in conjunction with Doña Ana County Teen Court, will provide the 1998 Dodge Intrepid by request to any anti-DWI public awareness event in Doña Ana County.

For more information or to schedule a visit, call (575) 386-4316.
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