Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Husky football player & Top Seattle DUI cop speak at Ballard HS in Seattle

A local Seattle high school put on quite a memorable assembly last week about the dangers of drinking and driving.  Ballard High School, which is a few miles from my home, put on a great assembly to over 500 students with some interesting speakers.  The topic and message from the speakers was to not drink and drive, and their experience with DUI arrests in the Seattle area.  

The first speaker was a Mother who lost her son in a drunk driving incident.  She wanted students to hear the important message “from the heart of a mom."  She discussed the accident with her son, provided very graphic images of the accident scene and the response of family and friends to the tragic deaths.  She was quoted as saying “you have the obligation to yourself and to your family and friends to drive and ride responsibly."

Next the students heard from the Top Seattle DUI cop in the land.  Seattle Police Officer Michl talked about what his job is about, why he does it, and how he feels when he takes a suspected DUI driver off of the streets of Seattle.  He was quoted as saying, "every time I make a DUI arrest before a collision it is a win," and “jail time will not fix your conscience or repair the damage you create when getting behind the wheel under the influence.”

Lastly the students heard from Austin Sefarian Jenkins.  He was the All-American University of Washington football player who got a DUI arrest in Seattle last year.  He pleaded guilty to his charge and he talked about what happened, how it has impacted his life, and what he learned.  

Overall it sounds like this was a well put together assembly for the students of Ballard High School in Seattle, WA.  I can tell you as a DUI lawyer who practices in Seattle I have represented several high school students on DUI cases in my day.  And unfortunately a few of them have been extremely intoxicated.  I think it is due to being unfamiliar with how alcohol affects a person, but mostly they are not aware of the consequences and dangers of drinking and driving.  

When I was in high school there was always parties after football games, or summer barbeques where alcohol was always present.  People were always drinking and I don't ever remember hearing about a designated driver, or "so and so" was not drinking because they had to drive.  Had we had an assembly like this maybe some of my former high school classmates would have made different decisions.  

I think the Ballard High School students who were present for this.  Obviously are more familiar with DUI arrests and drinking and driving in Seattle.  And hopefully they will make better decisions this Holiday Season and next year during all the graduation parties.  Remember if you're under 21 there is a zero tolerance for alcohol consumption and driving.  Meaning even if you are well below the legal limit of 0.08.  If you're under 21 you will still face a DUI arrest in Seattle if you get caught drinking and driving.

About the author: Matthew Leyba is a DUI lawyer in the Seattle, Bellevue area of Western Washington.  He has been nominated as a Rising Star among Seattle DUI lawyers by the Seattle Met Magazine, an honor less than 2.5% of all Attorneys receive.  Additionally he is rated as a 10/10 by and listed as a Superb DUI lawyer in Seattle. 

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