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Teens Absorb Sobering Message About Underage Drinking

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RALEIGH — The Governor, the state highway patrol and the DMV all say North Carolina has a growing and dangerous problem in underage drinking and driving.

Tony Humphries is drinking a shot of liquor and a bottle of beer with state troopers watching. He is doing it to send a message to young drivers.

"A vehicle can become a weapon, take your life, take the life of a loved one or someone else or an innocent bystander on the street," Humpries says. "I, with the minimum drinks that I had, know clearly that I am not capable of driving a motor vehicle."

Humpries' controlled drinking demonstration was part of the Young Adult Highway Safety Conference.

At the conference, the DMV rolled out the new red, yellow and green drivers licenses, designed to reduce underage beer and tobacco sales.

Students also strapped on special goggles and drove golf carts to simulate a drunk driving experience.

The Kerr Scott building was full of displays and activities. A speaker talked about his drunk driving tragedy and apparently got the message across.

"It scared me to death when he was talking about how he swerved off -- he was drinking -- he swerved off the road [and] killed his brother. I feel kind of bad because I drive my brother everywhere, and I'm afraid that if I drink or something it's going to kill him," says Brian Marsh, a student at Athens Drive High School.

The conference was sponsored by theGovernor's Highway Safety Program.