By: Sarah Snyder
MIDLAND - Midland officials are getting a new perspective on DWI's. A brand new vehicle is helping them learn what it's like on the other side of the law. It's the first of it's kind for West Texas that local organizations hope will reduce the number of alcohol-related crashes.
It's the second vehicle of it's kind in the state. The Simulated Impaired Driving Experience, or SIDNE, is designed to allow the operator to learn what happens on the road when a driver has too many drinks.
Bringing the SIDNE car to the Basin is an idea born out of a personal tragedy.
"I lost my wife a year ago to a young lady, a reckless driver that had smoked marijuana," Program Founder, Michael Hochman, said. "When you get in the position I was and try to reconcile what had happened and you start learning what a problem we have with DWI."
County and city officials spent the morning learning how to use the car so they in turn can teach West Texans about the dangers of drunk driving.
"It's going to help me with my DARE program and it's going to show kids how much alcohol influences you once you get behind the vehicle," Sgt. Chris Fuentes with the Midland County Sheriff's Office, said.
Stop DWI will offer lessons to anyone interested and will travel to many of our area schools. It's funded by the Hochman family and supported by several local organizations.
"We're just doing everything we can to try and reach these young citizens and the public on what a problem we have and that being impaired does kill," Hochman said.
"If they come to this, they can realize what would happen if they are behind the wheel or if they were with somebody that is drunk," 17-year-old participant, Lucas Deleon, said.