Media Services, Attorney for Students departments win award

Date of release: 03/09/01

Pictured left to right - Shannon Fitzpatrick, Carlos Colon, Michael Paynter, and Bill Jennings.

SAN MARCOS, TEXAS — SWT’s media services department and attorney for students, Shannon Fitzpatrick, were awarded the “2001 President’s Award For Special Project Excellence” by the Southwest Region of University Students’ Legal Services. The award was given for the video “A Night to Remember: The Truth about DWI. ”

With assistance from the UT Legal Services for Students Office and the Center for Safe Schools and Communities, Fitzpatrick and SWT’s media services department developed a 40-minute video detailing the process a person goes through from the time he or she begins drinking to a sentence by a jury.

From the party, arrest and booking to finding a defense lawyer and ultimate trial, the video follows the actions and aftermath of one young woman’s decision to drive her friends to a restaurant after a party. The young woman (Amber) drank enough alcohol to put her over the legal limit of 0.08. Like thousands of other people every year in Texas, Amber’s arrest wasn’t because she hurt someone while driving. She was pulled over by a highly trained officer who was able to stop her before she injured herself or others. She faces thousands of dollars in court costs and attorney fees, jail time and a permanent criminal record: all for the cost of a six pack.

During a mock jury trial, Amber is found guilty. The video is distributed by SWT’s Attorney for Students office and is sent to high school and college campuses around the state.

“We’re always looking for new materials to help our teens avoid the consequences of making bad choices,” said one video recipient and chair of the P.E. department at Newman Smith High School in Carrolton, Texas. “It’s tough to be a teenager today. Thanks for making the video; it’s well done.”