Nacogdoches police teach about dangers of drunk driving at 3rd annual Teen Academy

Nacogdoches police teach about dangers of drunk driving at 3rd annual Teen Academy
Published: Jul. 19, 2023 at 3:08 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 19, 2023 at 7:56 PM CDT
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NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Nacogdoches Police Department hosted its third annual Teen Academy on Wednesday at the Nacogdoches Recreation Center.

Teens learned about the dangers of being under the influence on day one of the academy.

Gavin Linsey of Garrison is one of the dozens of teens participating and said putting on the impaired vision goggles at each station made “everything... squished down and then it curves so it really impairs your vision a lot different than normal vision.”

Nacogdoches Police Sergeant Brett Ayres said the department partnered with TxDOT and Texas AgriLife Extension to set up four stations. Teens attempted to complete different tasks while wearing impaired vision goggles.

“We want them to have that knowledge so they can make good decisions as they continue into adulthood,” said Ayres.

Stations included walking through a ‘minefield,’ a bean bag toss, and a driving simulator.

“Your perspective is off a lot. It’s harder to judge distance,” said Campbell Wallace of Nacogdoches.

Wallace wore the goggles, took a seat behind the wheel of the driver simulator, and said driving under the influence is never a good choice. “It’s definitely helped me learn what I shouldn’t do.”

Sgt Ayres says the academy gives teens a chance to get to know the first responders in their area and that they are here to help.

“We tell them to come talk to us. We may have resources that we can direct them on and try to help them get the kind of career they would like to have,” said Ayres.

Ximena Molina of Nacogdoches said she feels more comfortable approaching law enforcement. “If anything goes wrong, if we see any signs like drunk driving, we can always call them and do what’s right,” she said.

The academy continues Thursday, where teens will learn more about firearm and social media safety and meet the fire department and SWAT team.