More than 450 Adelanto High School juniors and seniors learned a powerful lesson about the dangers of drunk driving on March 17 during a DUI Court event as part of the Friday Night Live Club’s Safe and Sober Prom 2016 campaign.
A real judge heard statements from real attorneys as students played jurors, the victims’ family members and the defendant in a reenactment of the penalty phase of a real DUI trial that occurred in San Bernardino County involving underage drinking and driving.
Adelanto High School Resource Officer John Hayes of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department played the bailiff and handcuffed the “defendant” after he was sentenced by Judge Victor Stull. San Bernardino County Deputy District Attorney Colin Child and Deputy Public Defender Robin Bannister made statements before the judge.
The students then heard from Rina Kennedy of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, who delivered an emotional story about her 24-year-old brother Marc Tomassi of Hesperia. Tomassi was a standout baseball player for Sultana before he suffered devastating injuries in a drunk-driving crash in 2013. He now struggles just to walk, and all of the friends he used to party with have abandoned him, Kennedy said.
All of the participants answered questions from students at the end of the event. Stull drew a round of applause from the students when he answered a question about peer pressure.
“If you have friends pressuring you to do drugs or drink when you don’t want to, they’re not friends,” Stull said. “Get rid of them.”
The Friday Night Live Club at Adelanto High School aims to educate local youth about the dangers of drugs and alcohol while encouraging healthy lifestyle choices, especially on prom night when they may be pressured to drink alcohol. Friday Night Live Club Adviser Bree Landry organized the event.