DA, CHP Discuss Driving with Sophomores


Amanda Young, Business Editor

Contra Costa District Attorney Angela Lyddan and California Highway Patrol officers Martin Lendway and Brandon Correia spoke to sophomores enrolled in Human & Social Development (HSD) about distracted driving on January 11. Initially, the visit was scheduled for November 16,  the event was rescheduled due to the school closure that occurred due to sever conditions caused by the Camp fire.

According to HSD teacher Stephanie Verbanszky, students participated in mock field sobriety tests and exercises wearing “drunk googles”, and they discussed the impact of distracted driving and its legal consequences.

Sophomore Noel Seo said that she learned there were different types of distracted driving that could cause crashes. “It’s not only driving under the influence but also talking to friends, or being absorbed in what you’re doing, or not watching the road, or listening to music,” she said.

Seo participated in an activity where she was asked to hold her foot out in front of her while wearing goggles that simulated the effects of a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15. “It was really difficult. I thought that I was doing perfectly fine, but I actually wasn’t even looking at my foot; I was looking in the opposite direction,” she said. “It really shed some light on how much alcohol can distort your vision and balance.”

Verbanszky explained the presentation was “a good experience to have ” because sophomores like Seo are particularly vulnerable to making driving mistakes as probationary drivers.

“I really enjoy talking to the kids who are just starting their careers as drivers and giving them actual facts,” said Lendway. “There are a lot of urban legends as to what’s against the law and what’s not, and [we want to give] them actual, accurate information to make educated decisions.”

The visit also gave students “a chance to hear from law enforcement in a positive light,” according to Lendway, as well as “the chance to see us as human beings as opposed to people who are just out there to enforce the law.”