Mock trial presents real-life consequences to impaired driving

Students at Rosepine High School got a first-hand look at what it is like to be on trial.
Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 4:39 PM CDT
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ROSEPINE, La. (KALB) - Students at Rosepine High School got a first-hand look at what it is like to be on trial, charged with someone’s death and injury after making the decision to drive impaired.

A mock trial was held at the school on Friday, Sept. 23, as a continuation of a mock crash that was held last spring. During the mock crash, a student made the decision to get behind the wheel while impaired, causing a crash that killed a classmate and left another one paralyzed. The student who caused the crash was on trial facing a number of charges, including vehicular homicide.

The trial is set as a real-life scenario with local attorneys, law enforcement and a Rapides Parish judge participating. With members of the student body serving as the jury and delivering a verdict to the judge for sentencing.

“They believe they’re invincible and that this won’t ever happen to them; and I think having their student body and real-life people come in and present this trial and the crash that we had back in the spring, it lets them know that it can happen to them,” said Guidance Counselor Jamie Bjornberg.

The mock crash and mock trial are put on by Sudden Impact, a program sponsored by the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission, University Medical Center in New Orleans and Louisiana State Police.

Master Trooper Casey Wallace, Public Information Officer for Louisiana State Police Troop E, said he hopes this is something that will deter these students from actually getting into this situation, to begin with.

“It’s a very good day for them to see the harsh realities of what happens beyond the crash,” he said.

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