DUI trial held at Nevada Union
Seniors at Nevada Union High School caught a glimpse of what they could face for drunken driving when Nevada County Superior Court Judge Robert Tamietti held a real trial Tuesday morning at the Don Baggett Theatre.
The trial of a 22-year-old Grass Valley woman, arrested earlier this year on suspicion of driving under the influence, went on from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., including a question-and-answer session when students addressed their queries to the law keepers.
The jury, comprising NU students, found the woman not guilty of driving under the influence, but found her guilty of having more than the legal limit of alcohol in her blood, said 17-year-old NU senior Alicia Jones.
“I think watching the trial was very useful, because I know a lot of seniors who are going out to college on their own,” Jones said. “In a situation where drinking is an option, they would have an understanding of what can happen to them if they are caught driving under influence.
“I think it opened a lot of the students’ eyes,” Jones said.
But despite the slice-of-life experience, not all students were impressed by the trial.
“I’ve had a DUI before and knew what the court system was like,” said 18-year-old Jordan Baggett. “I thought they were more polite and nicer. In real life, they are much more strict.”
David Reyes, also 18 years old, called the trial “a mockery of the court.”
“I couldn’t take this seriously,” Reyes said.
There was a two-minute gap when the stenographer wasn’t there, Reyes said. In addition, a mock jury panel, composed of students, was asked what their favorite subjects were and if they had a positive or negative experience with the police.
Both Baggett and Reyes said such questions are not asked in an actual DUI trial.
To contact Staff Writer Soumitro Sen, e-mail soumitros@ theunion.com or call 477-4229.
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