If 17-year-old Demi Byers’ drink driving experience had been real she would have killed three people.
But thankfully for the Gloucester Academy teen she was driving a go-kart around cones in the playground.
She admitted afterwards that her go-karting experience was ‘fun’ but the serious message about drink driving hit home hard too.
Demi, from Kingsway, was one of dozens of sixth formers given a chance to put on the beer goggles before getting behind the wheel in an initiative run by Cotswold firm Concession Cirkitz International.
The firm is hoping more Gloucestershire schools will take up the playground project – they want to get to 50 county schools this year.
Hanzalah Fadra, 16, from Barton, had a go and said: “It is quite a realistic experience.”
Jack Beaver, 17, from Coney Hill, added: “Some of my mates are already driving and I’m thinking to take lessons soon so this has been a really useful experience. The results surprised me.”
Gloucester mayor Chris Chatterton and the county’s police and crime commissioner Martin Surl got behind the wheel too – both dragged cones under the wheels.
VIDEO: Mayor Chris Chatterton gets behind the wheel
Mr Chatterton, whose mum was killed by a careless driver on the M5, said: “I, more than anyone, know the importance of road safety. Anything that can be done to keep these youngsters safe on the roads has got to be a good thing.”
Mr Surl, who has made road safety his top priority, said: “Since taking up office I have learnt that tackling road safety is not easy and we still have a long way to go.
“Young people are often impressionable and can be tempted to take risks so anything that gets across the message has to be welcomed.”
VIDEO: Police and crime commissioner Martin Surl struggles in the go-kart
Rupert Walters, co-director of Concession Cirkitz International, said: “Road traffic accidents are rising because of the bad choices that we are making.
“We want to give our young people the best chances possible. We don’t want them to go out and kill somebody, ruining their life and other people’s.”
Bus firm Stagecoach has backed the scheme, throwing money into a go-karting experience in King’s Square before Christmas. Other firms can support the cause by calling Cirkitz on 01452 863616.