What is Choices and Consequences?

The Choices and Consequences School Program is a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) education and prevention program funded through a grant obtained from the California Office of Traffic Safety. The goal of the program is to bring a "real" DUI case on-site to local schools, and provide students with practical information about the consequences of drinking and driving, with the understanding that seeing someone convicted of a DUI charge and hearing about their experience may help to shape students' opinions of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

This program educates students about the judicial system, alcohol abuse, distracted driving, and driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. It explains DUI processes and consequences and gives the students the benefit of a memorable and meaningful court experience.

What schools are involved in the project and what are the target dates for presentations?

The project serves public and private middle and high schools in Orange County. Since its inception in 2008, 17 programs have been presented to local high schools. It is anticipated that eighteen schools will be served during the 2010-11 school year. The court will collaborate with schools on the date for the program and will work closely with the school's administration and other personnel to plan and present the event.

What will the assembly look like?

judgeEach assembly will be held on the school campus in a site designated by the school administration, such as a theatre, auditorium or gymnasium. The number of students that can be accommodated is limited only by the seating capacity and sound system at the designated location. The length of the program will be approximately ninety minutes. The assembly is presented in three distinct parts and a classroom component is provided prior thereto.

The ninety-minute program will start with the guilty plea and sentencing of a DUI offender – which includes an actual DUI offender who has agreed to have his or her DUI case presented publically to an assembly of students, a real judge and real attorneys. During the plea the prosecutor will explain the circumstances of the arrest, and then the defendant will tell what it was like to be arrested for a DUI charge. At the conclusion of the sentencing the judge will discuss DUI charges and its consequences and the effects of distracted and dangerous driving.

rachel clarkThe second part of the presentation students will be introduced to prevention and intervention methods by trained teen counselors and a former teen athlete who struggled with teenage alcoholism and gives his testimony on how he overcame these obstacles. The last component is a video presentation on distracted driving which focuses on the life of an Orange County family and the loss of their daughter due to distracted driving.

orange county register

" The "Choices and Consequences" assembly, run through Orange County Superior Courts, is intended to show high school students the consequences of making poor decisions. "The whole point of me allowing my client to take part in this is to share with these students a real-life situation so that they can see themselves in him and make the decision, 'I'm not going to let this happen to me,' said Virginia Landry, a defense attorney from Irvine. " Read News Story From Orange County Register.

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