On Saturday, January 29, Miami STREET LAW participated in the event "Walk for Witty." The purpose of the walk was to raise awareness about drunk driving and other destructive decisions. The event was created in the name of Helen Marie Witty, a 16-year-old girl who was rollerblading in Miami and was killed by a car full of drunk and stoned teenage girls on June 1, 2000.
"STREET LAW joined in the event to raise awareness about the legal consequences of drunk driving," explains Miami Street Lawyer Marielys Rosado Barreras. "We conducted research on DUI Laws in Florida, prepared brochures highlighting the most important aspects of the law and delivered a speech to the people at the event. In addition, we tried to gear the information to high school students who might be starting to go out and drink and might not be aware of all the serious legal ramifications that a moment's decision – to drive while drunk – could have, not only in the life of potential innocent victims, but in their lives."
Over 600 people attended the event, which raised $27,000. "Walk for Witty" was sponsored by Palmetto High School's Drama Department, where Helen Marie Witty was an enthusiastic participant until her death.
"Marielys worked many hours researching the Florida laws on driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol," says Karen Throckmorton, Miami STREET LAW Director. "She spoke movingly at the event about an incident last year where a drunk driver totaled her sister's car. She reviewed the legal sanctions, and gave thoughtful advice."
Miami STREET LAW is an educational, legal outreach program that trains current law students to teach law, public policy and ethics at schools throughout Miami-Dade County. The mission of the Program is to empower youth through interactive education about law, democracy, and human rights while furthering the professional development of law students.