Learning the price you'll pay for drinking and driving


Judge Gary Johnson assured Redwood High School's senior class that even though they were in their school's auditorium, they were witnessing a real, live, DUI sentencing.

With the help of the Tulare County Office of Education and "Friday Night Live" organization -- the "L.J. Williams" theater was transformed into an actual Tulare County courtroom.

The defendant was handcuffed in front of the more than 400 students. After he was told he'd spend 30 days in jail, pay thousands in fines and be required to enroll in a DUI class, Judge Gary Johnson reminded students of the consequences of driving drunk.

"Good luck... affording insurance with a DUI and driving on a suspended license on your record. Good luck finding a job," said Judge Johnson. "Who's going to hire you if they know if you're going to drive one of their vehicles?"

Students say they were shocked that the DUI sentencing was real, adding it will influence some students not to drink and drive.

Brittany Malcolm, senior said, "It was an easy sentence but now he's paying the price for his decisions and that's exactly what's going to happen if anyone makes the decision again."

What may have been one of the most moving moments of the assembly was when Redwood High School's own student body president shared a story of how her cousin was tragically killed when she got into a car with a drunk driver.

Alyssa Aguilar said, "When you look at somebody in that casket it changes your life forever and you're not the same and I'm not the same since that day I had to look at her."

After the sentencing, Redwood High seniors watched a video about Exeter native, Casey Goodwyn, who was killed by an 18-year-old drunk driver in 2003.

Then, at the request of Casey's mother, Lynne Goodwyn, hundreds took "Casey's pledge" by writing their name on a star and promising they won't drink and drive or get in a car with a drunk driver.

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