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.