Learning from the Law

Tuesday, June 17, 2008 | 9:35 p.m. CDT; updated 7:40 p.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008
John Warner of the Columbia Police Department rides next to Taylor Huston, 14, as she drives through the obstacle course wearing Fatal Vision Goggles in Cosmopolitan Park on Tuesday. The participants of the Columbia Police Department Youth Academy were able to maneuver through the obstacle course first without any goggles and then a second time with impaired vision. "For many of these kids, this is close to the first time they've driven anything," said Sgt. Eric White. The officers told the youths to think of each cone as a small child. When someone asked Kuriston White, 14, how many cones she hit she responded, "Only 13."

Joshua Smith, 14, uses a radar to read how fast Officer Robert Bennett is driving on his motorcycle. The Columbia Police Department hosted the Columbia Police Department Youth Academy on Tuesday. The group met in Cosmo Park and were able to participate in various activities to give the youths an idea of what a police officer encounters throughout his or her career. The youths worked their way through the speed check, a mini obstacle course, a driving area, a crash scene and a drunk driver checkpoint.
Officer Brian Grove goes through a sobriety check with Devon Lovato, 13. Grove instructs Lovato to follow his finger with his eyes only. Grove told the kids one way to identify a drunk driver is when they follow his finger with their head instead of their eyes. The DWI Enforcement Unit bus was set up to show the participants of the Columbia Police Department Youth Academy what they would see if they were to come upon a sobriety check point.

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Tom Alciere June 19, 2008 | 6:08 a.m.

To reduce drunk driving, repeal the drinking age and all liquor laws. Once the laws are more respectable, the laws will get more respect. Without licensing laws, people will be able to gather to drink closer to home, and then walk home.

Also, tell them about cases like Heidi Strodtman, 19, killed 21 April 2007 by a drunk driver who was 47.

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