Ford impaired driving suit to mirror operating under the influence

Hampden County

The holiday season can see a spike in impaired driving.

The Ford-developed suit restricts movement, impairs vision and throws you off balance.

Ford developed impaired driving suits to simulate driving while drunk, and while under the influence of drugs like marijuana.

22News went to Marcotte Ford in Holyoke and got suited up, with ankle weights to throw off balance, knee, elbow, and neck bandages to restrict movement, tunnel vision glasses, and earmuffs to delay reaction time.

“We have the standardized field sobriety test regardless of what you’re using, be it opioids or marijuana,” said Lt. Manuel Reyes of the Holyoke Police Department. “It affects reaction time, coordination.”

Lt. Reyes led 22News through a field sobriety test, which was failed massively.

Visual perception was completely skewed, as well as balance. 

The suit is part of Ford’s driving skills for life program. Ford’s hopes more teens will try the suit, and not take the risk of driving impaired. 

“When they try the suit on and see how much it actually impairs them, and how many options are out there with Uber and Lyft, and to call a friend or family member,” said Mike Marcotte, president of Marcotte Ford. “There are other options out there.”

On average, 300 people die in drunk driving crashes between Christmas and the New Years nationwide. Lt. Reyes said police pull people over to ensure everyone makes it home for the holidays.

“Look out for yourself, look out for others, be responsible, and have a plan,” Lt. Reyes said.

If you’re drinking this holiday season, have a plan for a safe way home. 

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