Getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after consuming alcohol is a serious crime.
Drinking and driving is referred to as driving under the influence (DUI), or driving while intoxicated (DWI). However, even consuming a small amount of alcohol can lead to harmful situations.
This is what the Alcohol and Drug Committee (AoD) at South Plains College was trying to teach students at the Mocktail Madness event which was held March 5 in the Sundown Room in the Student Center Building on the Levelland campus.
“At least 103 students attended the event, and I had several students after driving the peddle car with drunk goggles say, ‘Man, I don’t ever want to drive drunk,’” said Crystal Gilster, director of Health and Wellness at SPC. “So, I would say the event was a great success.”
Mocktail Madness was a great way for clubs and organizations to get involved, because it was a way to promote their organization, along with a chance to win money for their organizations. The purpose also was to show students how to have fun without drinking and encourage safety.
“This is the first year that our president, Denisha Lewis, brought back Black Student Union to SPC,” said sophomore Josiah Spence. “We wanted to come back and try to raise money for our organization, but we also want to raise awareness of what BSU is and tell students that it is a club for all races. BSU is a club to bring cultural awareness and bring people to the culture of Black people and the society that we live in.”
The 10 clubs involved and their booth themes were: Black Student Union, Speakeasy, Prohibition; 6th Man, Shooters Basketball; Design Communication, Dead End Kids; Student Government Association, Beach theme; Residence Hall Association, Pep in your Step; Plainsman Press, Newsies; Law Enforcement Club, Folsom Prison Blues; Catholic Student Ministries, Fiesta; Intramural Sports, Sports Bar; and Anime Club, Drink of Fate Death Brigade.
In order for clubs to participate, they each had to come up with a theme for their booth and serve a signature non-alcoholic mocktail to students. Once students checked in at the event, they were given a punch card and two poker chips to participate.
The punch card was used to keep track of how many drinks they had throughout the night. If a student had too much to drink, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) would give them “drunk goggles” and the student would have to drive a pedal car through an obstacle course.
The poker chips that were given out were used as a way for students to vote on the best mocktail of the night and the best booth. The club with the most poker chips by the end of the night was awarded cash prizes. The winner for best mocktail was a tie between Catholic Student Ministries and their Horchata Mixer and Black Student Union and their Prohibition Punch. The winner for best booth was Black Student Union.
“I think students are going to get a lot of opportunities from coming to this event and enjoy their time with their friends without the influence of alcohol,” said sophomore Erica Wiggins.
Students who attended the event had the opportunity to enter a drawing for Uber credits and gift cards. Winners were Autumn Bippert, Ulises Cardoza, and Ricardo Torres.
“I’m really impressed with the outcome,” said Miranda English, the director of Student Life at SPC. “We really did get to engage students in the safety aspect that we wanted to. So having students sit down with TABC representatives and realize that even though they’ve only had two drinks, what it does to their body and how it impairs their ability to function really opened some eyes.”