Fairfield High School Students Attend DUI Trial

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Fairfield High School Students Attend DUI Trial

I’m Ed Smith, a Fairfield car accident lawyer. Recently, the students of Rodriguez High School attended a real trial held on their campus as part of Solano’s Real DUI Court in Schools Program, a program designed to discourage driving under the influence for high schools students as well as give them some first-hand insight into criminal law procedure.

Message – Think Before You Drive

The message conveyed by both Solano Superior Court Commissioner Raymond Wieser and the man who was sentenced for a DUI at the trial was that teens should  “think before they drink.” During the events, the commissioner and longtime jurist took time to speak to the audience of high schoolers and reminded them that driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs increases the likelihood of a fatal accident and that even “a very small amount of alcohol may get you drunk.”

Defining Terms

Before the trial began, the commissioner gave a lecture on basic definitions of legal terms and the most likely order of proceedings that the students would witness. The large room of students, as well as the jury, which was composed of twelve Rodriguez High students, listened intently as Wieser spoke.

The Trial

The trial began at just about 8:15 in the morning and included statements from the defense and prosecuting attorneys and interrogations of two witnesses including the arresting California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer and a criminologist from the District Attorney’s office. When the student jurors retired to deliberate, Weiser took the time to extol the virtues of the American legal system, calling it “the greatest service rendered in peacetime.” Weiser also, during this time, delivered his official verdict before the jury’s, finding the defendant guilty of both of his criminal charges. When the jury returned, they revealed that they had also unanimously found the defendant to be guilty of both charges.

Weiser sentenced the defendant to two days’ jail time, three years of summary probation, and multiple fines.

Follow-up Lecture

After the trial, and before a question-and-answer session, Weiser reminded the audience that court fees, vehicle tow fees, and fines are all part of the consequences that come with making the decision to drive while intoxicated. He also mentioned to the students that if a driver is under the age of 21, a DUI conviction can mean losing their driver’s license for up to a year. After this, he mentioned that pedestrian deaths spiked last year, with distraction from cell phones by both drivers and pedestrians being the primary factor in a plurality of the accidents.

Students who attended the event were interviewed afterward and noted that the prosecution had been convincing and had proven the defendant’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

Drunk Driving Stats and Info

No matter what age you are, driving under the influence is an extremely dangerous thing to do. Across the United States, DUI incidents are responsible for almost one-third of all traffic-related fatalities. Additionally, many of those who cause fatal DUI accidents are found to be repeat offenders. Any person found to be driving under the influence is considered to be driving negligently, but may not be the only parties liable in cases of DUI. Those who provide alcohol or a vehicle to a drunk driver can also sometimes be considered negligent.

Fairfield Car Accident Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Fairfield car accident attorney. If you have been seriously injured in a car accident, call me as soon as you are able at (707) 564-1900 for free, friendly advice. I can also be reached toll-free at (800) 404-5400.

See my client reviews here: Avvo (a lawyer review service), Google Plus, and Yelp.

I am pleased to be a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

See a listing of some of my Past Verdicts and Settlements.

I am the founder of AutoAccident.com, Northern California’s leading website for information pertaining to personal injury.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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