An unusual event that took place at Muskogee-Davis Regional Airport on Friday was an eye-opener for police as well as participants.

Selected drivers took part in Driver Impairment Awareness Day. Some drove after having a few drinks. Some drove after smoking marijuana. Some drove while texting.

Even the drivers were a little surprised at the results.

Rick Crofford, who had four shots of tequila, only knocked over one cone while driving on the course. But when an officer administered some standard sobriety tests, Crofford failed.

"It was way harder than I thought it would be," said Crofford, who said he is against drinking and driving.

Logan Beasley smoked a quarter of a gram of marijuana two hours prior to driving the course and also failed her sobriety tests. She said she thought the exercise was a good teaching tool and "the more we can educate people, the better." 

Some drivers drove the course while texting. Muskogee Police Chief Johnny Teehee said texting is one of the worst threats on the road.

The event also was educational for law enforcement officers. Muskogee County Chief Deputy Michael Mahan and Teehee called the event a good chance to watch how impaired drivers look outside of a classroom setting.

"You see a lot of officers in a lot of alcohol situations, but rarely do they get to see people who are impaired by marijuana or drugs, so it was definitely a good training tool for us," Teehee said.

This event is one that should be repeated, at least annually. It benefits officers' training, and maybe one of the participants will save a life with what they learned.

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