On October 27, the Rotaract Club put forth one of its two-piece presentations concerning DUI in room 724 at noon.
The presentation, entitled “DUI: A Story of Denial”, dealt with the issue of vehicle collisions involving impaired drivers both on a community and national level. Mike Serpa, president of the Rotaract Club, stated that one of the purposes of Rotaract is to “raise interest in problems within our community”, and he then turned the floor over to former police officer Ron Turner. Turner, whose father was an alcoholic, gave examples of drunk driving incidents that he observed while enforcing the law and demonstrated how the United States has one of the most lenient systems in the world concerning the consequences of DUI.
“Impaired driving is the most frequently committed crime in the US,” said Turner, and he pointed out that in California it takes four offenses (concerning DUI) to convict someone of misdemeanor or felony.Turner revealed some frightening statistics – for every one person arrested for DUI, two thousand are not caught, and every thirty minutes someone dies because of an impaired driver, and stated that, “we need to shift social norms” with regards to the DUI issue.
Those in attendance next heard from Vietnam veteran Ray Bull, whose daughter was killed on May 17, 2003 by an impaired driver (a former felon, child abuser, burglar). Bull stated that his daughter Nicole’s academic life was in full swing when she was slain and that her death was needless. Contrasting Nicole’s death with military casualties, Bull said that soldiers “died for something” whereas his daughter died “for nothing.”
Bull told of how he and his wife spent twenty-two months in court in order to put the offending driver behind bars. Because of our legal system, however, Bull stated that the guilty man would soon be out on the street again.The third and final speaker was Rotaract Club member Chris Powell, who explained to the attendees that it is in fact very easy to get a DUI, as well as pointing out the severe consequences of this occurrence. The second installment of the Crossing Borders Building Bridges DUI awareness event took place on October 29, at room 724. Rotaract Club president Mike Serpa said,”We were supposed to have someone representing MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) here today but, in the midst of our present economy, the person who was supposed to speak got laid off”. Serpa stated that, finding himself with no speaker, he did what we do when we are in trouble…he called the cops.
Bill Beck, an officer of the Highway Patrol, spoke to those in attendance about the dangers of DUI, stating that he had arrested close to five hundred people for drunk driving. Beck said that the vast majority of these individuals went to jail and, having gone over the sentences for first, second, third, and fourth time offenders (with regards to DUI), he showed a slide show concerning the Negrete family tradgedy of September 16, 2006 (six slain). Those in attendance applauded the arrest of the perpetrator of the above crime (hit and run) and also heard from Yuba County Victim Witness member Jason Roper, who related how his being hit by an impaired driver caused him to rear-end other people in an auto accident.The group of attendees was significantly larger than those who attended the first part of the overall event.