BAT mobile visits North Surry students

Staff Report
Bryon Varnell talks with students about making wise choices when it comes to drinking and driving. He gave the students a tour of the state BAT Mobile. Varnell is a former North Carolina State Highway Patrol officer who now works with the NC Forensic Tests for Alcohol Branch. - Submitted photo
Student Ryan Eldridge tries walking the line with goggles on that simulate being under the influence. - Submitted photo
Students Nick Badgett and Bret Johnson wear the goggles to make them feel as if they are impaired while Mary Howell instructs the students to keep their arms to their side, and teacher Daron Atkins watches. - Submitted photo
Posing for the camera are Mary Howell, an alcohol abuse educator, and Betty Hamm, manager of the Mount Airy ABC Store. - - Submitted photo

The BAT Mobile made an appearance at North Surry High School recently.

The Blood Alcohol Testing vehicle is a state-owned 40-foot-long bus used by authorities at DWI checkpoints across North Carolina. The bus is equipped with instruments and supplies needed for processing DWI suspects. There is even an office on board for a local magistrate.

According to information released by the NC Department of Public Safety, the NC Forensic Tests for Alcohol Branch first introduced the BAT Mobile Unit Program in 1996.

The recent visit to North Surry was a joint effort between several groups.

PE teacher Travis Gammons contacted state authorities and organized the event. Mary Howell is an alcohol abuse educator. She talked with students about drinking and driving and making smart choices. She also let the students wear goggles that give them a first hand look and feel as to what it is like to be impaired and asked to take a sobriety test by walking the line.

Bryon Varnell, a former North Carolina State Highway Patrol officer who now works with the NC Forensic Tests for Alcohol Branch, gave students a tour of the BAT Mobile. He also talked with students about making wise choices and not drinking and driving or speeding while behind the wheel.

Betty Hamm, manager at the Mount Airy ABC Store, was also on hand. The city ABC Store sponsors the BAT Mobile to come to high schools and events across the state. The Surry County Emergency Management Services was also represented as Kara Evans, paramedic, was on hand for the talks and demonstrations.

Bryon Varnell talks with students about making wise choices when it comes to drinking and driving. He gave the students a tour of the state BAT Mobile. Varnell is a former North Carolina State Highway Patrol officer who now works with the NC Forensic Tests for Alcohol Branch.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/web1_DSC_9311.jpgBryon Varnell talks with students about making wise choices when it comes to drinking and driving. He gave the students a tour of the state BAT Mobile. Varnell is a former North Carolina State Highway Patrol officer who now works with the NC Forensic Tests for Alcohol Branch. Submitted photo

Student Ryan Eldridge tries walking the line with goggles on that simulate being under the influence.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/web1_DSC_9291.jpgStudent Ryan Eldridge tries walking the line with goggles on that simulate being under the influence. Submitted photo

Students Nick Badgett and Bret Johnson wear the goggles to make them feel as if they are impaired while Mary Howell instructs the students to keep their arms to their side, and teacher Daron Atkins watches.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/web1_DSC_9286.jpgStudents Nick Badgett and Bret Johnson wear the goggles to make them feel as if they are impaired while Mary Howell instructs the students to keep their arms to their side, and teacher Daron Atkins watches. Submitted photo

Posing for the camera are Mary Howell, an alcohol abuse educator, and Betty Hamm, manager of the Mount Airy ABC Store.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/web1_DSC_9306.jpgPosing for the camera are Mary Howell, an alcohol abuse educator, and Betty Hamm, manager of the Mount Airy ABC Store. Submitted photo

Staff Report