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Photo Gallery | DUI Court Program Touches Students' Minds and Hearts - West Campus

Hiram Johnson West Campus Principal, Gregory Thomas, touched lives of the junior and senior students Friday, 11-16-12, as he welcomed onto campus the California Office of Traffic Safety which is a unified effort of the rest resources of the Sacramento County Superior Court, Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, the Law Enforcement Chaplaincy and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (M.A.D.D).   

As students filed into the gymnasium taking their seats in the stadium, they would experience first-hand, the depiction of a DUI sentencing away from a county courthouse. Approximately 500 students at West Campus High School would witness the sentencing of a first time DUI offender.   

Angela Kellogg, Program Director of the Traffic Safety Awareness Program, introduced to the students Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Lawrence G. Brown as presiding over the case, Deputy District Attorney Rick Miller, and Larry Pilgrim representing the defendant.

As the sentencing proceeded, juniors and seniors watched with undivided attention, especially as the defendant spoke, stating how it felt to be incarcerated in the Sacramento County Jail.  It was not something he would “ever want to experience again.” 

Hon. Lawrence G. Brown spoke to all students, asking a show of hands of all who have plans on attending college, who are gifted with the love of music, drama, dance…many hands were raised as students rallied with enthusiasm the dreams they have and wish to pursue.  With this in mind, Hon. Lawrence G. Brown quickly reminded them of the fact that once convicted of a DUI, future employers are hesitant to hire.  This person’s lack of responsibility to abide by the law, the lack of realizing the concept of cause-and-effect ~ all actions do have consequences ~ and the lack of maturity which is needed to make right choices – can undo any future dreams. 

Further, one’s plan on joining the military can be greatly affected, depending on the severity of the DUI.

And, finally, should a death occur due to a DUI involved vehicular crash, the California Penal Code addresses time to be served in prison and fines incurred. 

Students were given time to ask questions of the judge and attorneys who showed so much interest interacting with these students.  They spoke one-on-one, now no longer quoting law, but now were the fathers they might be in their own home, the mentor of a youth possibly, and were delighted to share whatever they could to dissuade all from drinking and driving! 

The one speaker who brought students to tears, Cody Spaeth, guest speaker from Mothers Against Drunk Driving, talked about the death of her father at the hands of a drunk driver – forever changing Cody as she lives with grief that will never be healed nor reconciled.  She will live a life feeling this loss, a loss of the love of her father who won’t be there to walk her down the aisle, nor hold perhaps Code’s newborn should she someday have a family, and the greatest loss Cody lives with daily, is that of not sharing her life with him…her father… 

Cody’s tears shed today were not just hers.  They were shared with students throughout ~ may her grief touch their hearts and minds of each student, give them pause to not get behind the wheel, nor be driven by one who has consumed alcohol/drugs, period!  And, may each student be blessed today with the internal strength to take the keys of one who holds the life of others in the same hand that held alcohol to his lips! 

Our community is given a gift today… ~ the gift of saving a life!  

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

For further information: |
Angela Kellogg, Project Supervisor
Traffic Safety Awareness Program, OTS
Law Enforcement Chaplaincy - Sacramento
PO Box 2928, Sacramento CA 95812-2928
1331 Garden Highway, Sacramento, CA 95833
(916) 761-2649 FAX (916) 933-7781

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