UCCS Police received a new tool in the fight against drivers who are impaired by alcohol, drugs or cell phones Nov. 3.
Maile Gray, executive director, Drive Smart Colorado, presented the department with a simulated impaired driving experience vehicle or SIDNE. The go-kart type vehicle allows police officers to demonstrate the difficulty of controlling a vehicle while impaired or distracted by devices such as cell phones. UCCS Police will take the vehicle to local high schools, military bases and campus events and allow drivers to experience the dangers of impaired driving.
Gray was joined on El Pomar Plaza by Marc Pino, interim chief, UCCS Police; Grant Lockwood, sergeant, UCCS Police; Pete Carey, chief, Colorado Springs Police; and Julie Wermers, a local Allstate Insurance agent. A $20,000 grant from Allstate Foundation made the SIDNE vehicle possible.
An estimated 26,000 people are arrested annually in Colorado for Driving Under the Influence and more than 150 people die in alcohol related crashes. Distraction from cell phone use while driving delays a driver’s reaction time as much as having a blood alcohol level at the legal limit, Gray said.