Holiday Sobriety Challenge

Calvin Kim
by Calvin Kim
Sounding more like a video game than an event, the Holiday Sobriety Challenge finished up today with a resounding success. Out of the twenty participants, all but one failed.

Those in attendance included Academy Award winning director, John Lasseter, American Le Mans Series BMW driver Johannes Van Overbeek and Porsche driver Kevin Buckler. Other participants included two chefs, a pastor, a judge and various other working professionals.

John Lasseter gets busted! John's wearing "Fatal Vision Goggles." It simulates what it's like to be impaired.Testers were given anywhere from two-to-three glasses of wine or beer donated by Andretti Winery and Mount St. Helena Brewery before submitting to a field of sobriety tests, including a breathalyzer analysis administered by the CHP. Once it was determined participants were ready, they were asked to get behind the wheel of an automobile and drive through a pre-determined course at the raceway. All driverswere accompanied by race car instructors from the Russell Racing School.

"How often are going to get an invitation by the CHP to drink and drive?" quipped Lasseter. "But this was a great program. It certainly raised my awareness to the dangers of drinking and driving. Get a designated driver if you're going to drink, that's what I say."

Said Van Overbeek: "This test certainly raised my awareness to the fact that drinking can impair you almost at any level."

Participants were not allowed to take part unless they came with a designated driver who could take them home.

"People just need to realize that if they plan on drinking they have to have a designated driver take them home," said CHP officer Mark Bunger. "This was a pretty good learning experience for the people who came out here today."

The program helped kick-off National Drunk and Drugged Driving (3D) Prevention month, which features a series of local events throughout the country that will attempt to raise awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving.

What about the one guy that passed? It was Allan Rosenberg, a photographer from "Road and Track." Congratulations, Allan, and don't get any ideas!

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Calvin Kim
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