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Simulator Shows the Need for a Designated Driver | Crime

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Simulator Shows the Need for a Designated Driver

HENDERSON, Nev. -- John Dlouhy has a drink at Henderson's T-Bird Lounge. He's doing so under the watchful eye of police officers.

Dlouhy volunteered to show the effects of alcohol on one's driving ability for one main reason -- he lost his mom and dad in a car accident 29 years ago.

Four vodka cocktails later and Dlouhy took the wheel of the simulator, having difficulty staying on the road. One of the tell-tale signs in the simulator is weaving across the double yellow lines and also not knowing what speed you're going.

Dlouhy handed over the keys to Designated Drivers, a group that has found it difficult to keep their program alive in these tough times.

"The Designated Driver program has had a serious shortfall in funding this year, not only from the state, but from the other contributors. Because of that, we've had to limit the locations," said Designated Driver President Billie Smith.

The Office of Traffic Safety says a first time DUI conviction costs about $13,000.

"If you get arrested for DUI, what happens is there's a fine implemented by the court. But it doesn't stop there -- your insurance rates go up, you have to carry an SR-22 for three years which basically doubles your insurance," said Sgt. Timothy O'Neill.

Dlouhy, who manages a truck driving company, says he will share the lessons he learned driving drunk in the simulator.

"I decided to do this because I'm going to turn this into a training meeting with my drivers next week," he said.

Free rides are available from now through New Year's through the Designated Drivers program.


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