Drunk Driving Simulator is a Terrifying Revelation.

We’ll say it again: drunk driving is not like other crimes. That’s because the thing that makes you dangerous is the thing that makes you think you’re not dangerous. In other words, the alcohol that robs you of the ability to drive safely also makes you think that you’re just fine.

There’s a cure for that misplaced confidence: a drunk driving simulator. Yes, there’s a program that shows you just how lousy your driving is when you’re over the limit.

Recently BuzzFeed treated some of its employees to the Ford Driving Skills for Life program, which uses an ingenious set of hindrances to mimic the effect of alcohol on one’s body and motor skills:

  • Goggles that impair vision
  • Weights to throw off balance
  • Earpieces to muffle sounds

Thus encumbered, participants went through part of the standard Field Sobriety Test. This meant walking the white line, touching one’s nose, and balancing on one foot. It’s easy to see how those tests were devised, since people with compromised balance are not good at them.

The participants shed the weights and use just the goggles for the driving segment. As usual with the Drunk Driving Simulator, the Buzzfeed participants were horrified by how bad they were at driving. And anyone who had driven drunk and gotten away with it would have been justifiably terrified at the danger he or she had been in – and put others in.

In a way, those who fight drunk driving are fortunate that a tool like this simulator exists; there do not exist simulators to help people avoid other crimes. But once again, drunk driving is a unique crime because the source of the danger – alcohol – also makes you more likely to drive drunk.

The solution: have a plan before you drink: a designated driver, taxi, or other ride home. That way, the only time you’ll experience drunk driving is in the simulator.