Brother Martin High School students participate in mock trial

Brother Martin High School students participate in mock trial
Photos provided by MT Caesar Taylor, Louisiana State Police.

POSTED: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 - 4:00am

UPDATED: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 - 4:04am

Yesterday morning students, parents, and faculty from Brother Martin High School partnered with the Louisiana State Police and the Interim LSU Public Hospital Level 1 Trauma Center to conduct a Mock Vehicular Homicide Trial. The Mock Trial was organized in conjunction with a Mock Fatality / Driver Impairment Crash that took place at the school on October 17th, 2011.

The Mock Trial is an extension of the Sudden Impact injury prevention campaign conducted through the collaborative efforts of the Louisiana State Police and Interim LSU Public Hospital Level 1 Trauma Center. In October of 2011, juniors and seniors from Brother Martin High School participated in a Mock Crash that resulted in a death, a serious injury, and the arrest of an impaired driver. In an effort to reinforce this powerful educational message, the Mock Trial utilized the same student role players from the Mock Crash placing the impaired driver in front of a jury of his peers on charges of Vehicular Homicide, 1st Degree Vehicular Negligent Injuring, Driving While Intoxicated, and Reckless Operation of a Motor Vehicle.

The Honorable Judge Rebecca Olivier from Jefferson Parish presided over the trial and Norma Broussard, Jefferson Parish Assistant District Attorney, was the prosecutor. David Bravo, a local defense attorney, defended the student (impaired driver) accused of the listed charges. Numerous individuals testified throughout the trial to the life altering consequences resulting from the poor decisions made on the night of the fatal crash.

Troopers, parents, and school officials were called upon to recount the night’s events. Throughout the course of the Mock Trial, students are taught that driving impaired has lifelong consequences for all individuals involved, including their school, family, and community.

The Sudden Impact Program is an eight-hour interactive presentation for high school sophomores dedicated to the prevention of injuries and fatalities related to driving under the influence and seatbelt usage. The Sudden Impact Program targets high school sophomores that are in the process of obtaining their driver’s license. During the program, the teens are pre-tested and later post tested on the knowledge gained during the course. This course has three main components:

A.) A trauma victim TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) speaks to the students about the changes in his life following a vehicle crash in which he was injured while driving impaired and unrestrained.

B.) Louisiana State Police presents an interactive lecture to the students about Louisiana laws pertaining to underage DWI, seatbelt use, and driver safety issues. During the presentation, students participate in a fatal vision goggles demonstration and interact with the lecture by using hand-held remotes to answer questions. The answers are captured in a database and later studied by physicians for statistical purposes.

C.) LSU Trauma Center personnel speak to the students about the physical effects that alcohol and drugs have on the human body directly affecting driving ability. A color pictorial is presented showing the relationship between trauma injuries and the non-use of the seatbelts and driving under the influence. The students then tour the Trauma ICU and the ER, where they witness first-hand the life altering effects of impaired and unrestrained driving.

The Sudden Impact Program has received national recognition and a national award from the National Association of Governor’s Highway Safety Representatives.

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