CVU Members Speak On DUII At Pioneer Pacific College
CRIME VICTIMS UNITED
On February 1, 2004, CVU and MADD members Marie Armstrong and Anne Pratt spoke to a criminal justice class at Pioneer Pacific College in Springfield, Oregon. The topic was Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants and its impact.
Marie Armstrong's son Chance was killed by a drunk driver in 1996. Chance's girlfriend survived with a brain stem injury. The driver was sentenced to 90 days in jail for criminally negligent homicide. Released from jail, he drove with a revoked license, continued to drink and drive and violated other terms of his release including being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Anne Pratt's son, Brian Hood, was killed by a drunk driver in 1998. Her experience with the criminal justice system led her and her husband Bruce to work for changes to Oregon's laws on DUII. Their efforts contributed to several bills passed by the legislature, most notably Brian's Bill, which increased penalties for criminally negligent homicide.
Marie and Anne spoke about the impact of drunk drivers on their lives and the lives of other Oregonians, and their experiences with the criminal justice system. Pioneer Pacific student Jami Clark, who arranged for Marie and Anne to present to instructor Shan Weggland's class, wrote a note of thanks:
February 3, 2004
Dear Anne and Marie:
Thank you for making time to attend my class and be our guest speakers. I know that your presence has done two things: help you to speak about your pain and educate others so they too are not victims.
It was very admirable for you to share such a painful experience with a room full of strangers. The power point was very informative and provided information that was not common knowledge. The pictures of your sons also made the situation a reality and not just a name in the obituary. The pictures helped to place a face with a name. In addition, seeing the copies of the Bills that were passed also helped us with the larger picture.
I am in awe of your courage and your strength to continue to move forward and fight for stricter punishments and your hopefulness in the prevention you stand behind. I certainly agree that this knowledge needs to be shared with all counties of Oregon and perhaps nation wide. Knowledge is power and a lot of people do not have the knowledge.
Keep your heads held up high and your passion growing, for this will be a tough road to travel. I would like for you to remember the following when things become tougher than normal.
"A single drop of water begins a waterfall, and look what comes from that."
~Power of One~
You may be a single drop of water now; however, soon other drops will follow.
Please keep me in mind when letters need to be written so we may pass more Bills.
Jami M. Clark
See Also: CVU Joins with Legislators and Advocates to Combat DUII
Marie Armstrong's Testimony on Senate Bill 421
Senate Bill 421 Is Signed Into Law
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