News Center 23 Takes A Shot At Drunk Driving

POSTED: Thursday, November 13, 2008 - 11:30pm

UPDATED: Thursday, February 25, 2010 - 11:32am

Under Police Supervision

We all know, driving while intoxicated is a serious crime.

In a special News Center 23 report the South Padre Island police exclusively set up a driving course to help us test, how a person's driving becomes impaired by alcohol.

Our Kenny Lopez tested the limits of drinking and driving.

Blurry vision, stumbling feet, talking back to a cop, all while under the influence of booze.

Drinking and driving makes for a bad mix.

South Padre Island police set up a driving course, cones included, to help us illustrate the dangers of an impaired drunk driver.

SPI police officer, Steve Zuniga says, most people don't even realize how drunk they are.

He says, "Most of the time people behind the wheel have lost control of their mental faculties, and they think they can drive and later it's determined they can't.
We gave it a shot...

Officer Zuniga tested Kenny's sober driving skills first.

Kenny took two shots at a time, and then waited ten minutes, then the officer gave him field sobriety tests, and then he got behind the wheel.

Zuniga even conducted an eye coordination test, using a pen.

He says, "You're actually experiencing involuntary jerking of the eyes."

Ten minutes later, Kenny drowned his throat with two more shots going down.

After noticing his motor skills, he made the decision to cut him off, yet Kenny's liquid courage kicked in.

Denial is what police say, can turn deadly, and that's exactly what they want to prevent.

Officer Zuniga says, "It's not worth the anguish you'll go through if you get arrested, or worse yet, if you injure somebody or kill somebody.

This driving course was safely planned out.

Driving while intoxicated is a real problem, which exists and 22-year old, Jennifer Reyes had to find out the hard way.

"I was drinking all day on the island, and I didn't think I was drunk, and I didn't feel drunk, so I decided to go somewhere els, and that's where I lost control of my car," Reyes said.

She swerved and hit a tree.

"I busted my lip on the steering wheel, and have stitches like four or
five inside."

She says, she doesn't remember much, but knows she ended up in the hospital after totaling her car.

The officer did not arrest her for DWI, but ordered her to appear in court.

"I'm probably going to lose my license, and I don't know for how long."

Reyes says, she now has legal issues, but is thankful she didn't kill anybody.

"That would've been the worst feeling ever, I think hurting someone else, someone innocent."

Because of her experience, she says, times are tough for her.

But more importantly, she says she wants people who party, and then get behind the wheel, to wake up.

"Don't drink and drive, be careful, and love yourself."

This drinking and driving experiment just goes to show that any amount of alcohol can greatly affect your judgement and driving capabilities.

It's also important to know that alcohol affects everyone a little differently.

Police say, it's serious, it can lead to injuries, death, fines, jail time, and kill innocent people.

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