SADD Fest opens eyes to dangers

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 3, 2000

LEONARD GRAY / L’Observateur / May 3, 2000

DESTREHAN – The expanded second-annual SADD Fest drew scores of attendees Friday, thanks largely to teen-age girls standing by the side of Ormond Boulevard waving passing motorists into the park where the festival was in progress.

Students Against Destructive Decisions of Destrehan High School held the event next to the East St. Charles Volunteer Fire Department to enlightenpeople of all ages of the dangers of drinking irresponsibly. They also providedgames for children of all ages, refreshments and demonstrations.

One popular demonstration was the “Fatal Vision” goggles, in both day and night versions. These specially-designed goggles, when worn, simulate theeffect of having drunk the legal limit of alcohol.

Wearing the goggles and supervised by Deputy Danny Moran of the St.

Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office, participants at the festival were asked to first walk a marked line, heel to toe.

Almost invariably, they first had trouble finding the line. Then, staggeringbadly, they could not stay on the line more than a step or two. Some evencompletely fell down from the disorienting effects of the goggles.

In addition, Moran held a tennis ball in his hand and asked participants to quickly snatch it. Every time the participants were wide of the mark andmissed the ball completely despite it being only a foot in front of their faces.

Even Melva Guillory, the new Drug-Free Schools coordinator for St. CharlesParish, was unable to manage the walk while wearing the goggles. Likewise,Moran struggled with the night version of the goggles.

McGruff the Crime Dog also provided youngsters with entertainment, and other activities included a space walk, face-painting, beanbag toss, songs and races.

An information table provided booklets on topics ranging from teen-age suicide, illegal drug use, smoking and teen-age pregnancy.

The event was held in cooperation with the St. Charles Sheriff’s Office andsupported by area businesses, which donated prizes and gift certificates.

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