KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany - Spc. Ottonio Fletcher couldn't explain why he lost complete control while driving a multi-million dollar drinking and driving simulator as part of the Save a Life Tour Nov. 5, at the Kaiserslautern Community Activity Center on Daenner Kaserne.
"The car was drunk, " said Fletcher, from Headquarters Company, 21st Theater Sustainment Command, giving the best explanation that he could.
Save a Life Tour is an alcohol-awareness program designed to educate people about the dangers associated with drinking and driving, said Heather Robinson, the U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern's alcohol and drug control officer, who is coordinating the tour for USAG Baden-WAfA1/4rttemberg communities.
First time overseas, the tour will educate Soldiers and high school students in Kaiserslautern until Nov. 18. It will then travel to Mannheim Nov. 19-21 and Heidelberg Nov. 23-25 before continuing its seven-week run at Army installations throughout Europe.
Each presentation of the tour begins with a 10-minute video "Red Asphalt V" projected on two 10-foot screens blaring gruesome images of real-life tragedies and heart-wrenching testimony of those left behind to deal with the aftermath.
"The video that they showed - people who have died from drinking and driving - really brought it home for me, " said Staff Sgt. Dennisur Thompson, from Headquarters Company, 21st TSC.
After the video presentation, Chris Geysbeek, one of two managers with the European Save a Life Tour, talked with the 50 to 60 Soldiers attending this first training session.
Standing in the middle of banners with grave messages such as "Drinking and Driving Kills, " the first thing Geysbeek said, "We are not here to preach. We want you to be there for your friends."
Near the end of his almost one-hour presentation, Geysbeek recounted being there as his best friend - since they were both 2 years old - being killed by a drunk driver, throwing him off his motorcycle, and sending him flying 400 feet before he finally landed.
"My hope is that because of this presentation one person will be able to step up and take the keys from their friends, " he said after recounting the death of his best friend.
Andy Tipton, the other manager for the European Save a Life Tour, said everyone who works for this company has been affected by drinking and driving.