10 Hour Alcohol Awareness Class May Have Saved Army Career

by: Mike Miller

Sometimes a simple action can change your life. This is a simple truth of being a citizen of the planet Earth. Each decision we make has the potential to impact our lives on ways we never imagine. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that deciding to get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol can have a life-changing impact.

If you do not believe me, just ask Lisa Maldonado. She has first-hand knowledge of how driving under the influence of alcohol can permanently affect a life. To her credit, she is acting to try and influence teenagers so it does not happen to them. Most recently she spoke to a group of high school students. As reported in www.recordnet.com.

A county sheriff's deputy stood by and an audience of hundreds of teenagers watched Maldonado be sentenced for drinking and driving and witnessed her goal of joining the military slip away.

"Don't drink and drive" is a message drilled into teens over and over, but in an effort to make it stick, local attorneys a Superior Court judge decided to take the court to schools and conduct DUI hearings in the county Superior Court system's "Choices and Consequences" program.

What might have appeared to be staged was a genuine court hearing set up at Linden High School.

The 20-year-old Maldonado agreed to have her case unfold in front of students in hopes they heed her warning.

Maldonado was looking forward to becoming part of the U.S. Army before she made a crucial mistake one night that changed her future. After drinking with friends, she got hungry in the middle of the night and decided to drive to McDonald's intoxicated.

The high schoolers fixed their eyes on Maldonado as a deputy handcuffed her and escorted her out of the building after the sentencing.

She was sentenced her to three years' probation and one day in jail and ordered her to pay a $2,825 fine.

I think this a strong program and should be implemented more often in high schools across the country. I have long espoused the need for mandatory alcohol awareness classes. The alcohol classes, combined with real life experiences like Maldonado’s, may not only save futures but lives.