Sutter Middle to pilot DUI Court in Schools Program on Friday
First middle school in region to bring a defendant on campus for sentencing by judge
February 28, 2013 (Sacramento): Eighth graders at Sutter Middle School will witness the harsh legal consequences of driving under the influence when the DUI Court in Schools Program comes to campus this Friday (March 1).
The school’s gym will be transformed into the courtroom of a local judge, and a driver arrested for DUI will be sentenced and given an opportunity to address an assembly of students and their parents. The teens will hear for themselves about the dangers of taking the wheel after drinking.
The DUI Court in Schools Program has been staged in high schools over the last three years, but Sutter is the first middle school to present the program, said Angela Kellogg, a program director for the Traffic Safety Awareness Program. (Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.)
“The best prevention is to get kids’ attention when their ideas are forming,” she said. “We need to let them know that choices have consequences.”
Due to the younger age of the students, the program will be shortened and more sensitive, Kellogg said. For example, Sutter eighth-graders will not watch a graphic video about drinking and driving that is one of the centerpieces of the program, she said.
In addition, parents have been invited to attend, which is another change. Kellogg says she expects about 250 parents to watch the court proceedings.
WHAT: The DUI Court in Schools Program
WHEN: 9 a.m. on Friday, March 1
WHERE: Sutter Middle School
3150 I St., Sacramento, CA 95816