The Nicholls State University Police Department is partnering with law enforcement agencies from across the state to raise awareness about the impacts of impaired driving during a 2-day event on the university campus.
Nearly a dozen law enforcement agencies will be on hand in Bollinger Memorial Student Union and in The Quad from 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, Jan. 18, to answer questions, organize events and pass out free swag such as t-shirts, pens and cups.
Among the activities available will be an impaired obstacle course, where participants put on goggles that replicate impaired vision and attempt to complete the course. Additionally, law enforcement will have their DWI bus to simulate what happens when you are pulled over for drinking and driving.
The agencies that will be in attendance are Assumption Parish Sheriff’s Office,
Port Fourchon Harbor Police, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Thibodaux Police Department, Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office, Louisiana State Police Troop C, Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office, Berwick Police Department, St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Morgan City Police Department. Each agency will have a booth where they speak on a different topic regarding impaired driving.
Most importantly, Nicholls Police Chief Alex Barnes said, is that they want students to know that they are there for them.
“Our students are doing the right things but are falling victim to others not making the same choices,” Chief Barnes said. “We want to thank them for being responsible, and arm them with the knowledge so they can help others not make these potentially fatal mistakes.”
The following day from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., University Police will hold a seatbelt and car seat checkpoint on Audubon Avenue near Guidry Stadium. Drivers who are wearing their seatbelts correctly or who have children safely buckled in their car seat will receive free gifts.
The goal of the events is to educate students and faculty about the dangers of impaired driving so that they can go out into the community and spread the word, said Chief Barnes.
“We applaud our students for being responsible. Now, we’re asking for their help,” Chief Barnes said. “Our students have been the victims of others driving impaired. We want our students and faculty to help us go out into the public and raise awareness of the dangers of impaired driving. We want them to help us make a difference.”
Over the last two months, five Nicholls students have been victims across three separate wrecks where the other driver was either driving impaired or not paying attention. Tpr. Ross Brennan from State Police Troop C said the idea for the events came out of a multi-agency meeting held in December.
“This is about safety first. We are striving to prevent deaths and fatalities on our roadways and we believe the students at Nicholls can help us do that,” Tpr. Brennan said.