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Responsibility.org Goes Back to School (Law School) to Help Prepare Prosecutors of Tomorrow

It happens all of the time. A new prosecutor, fresh out of law school, begins a new career and one of the first cases he or she has to prosecute is a drunk driving case. What most people do not realize is that DUI cases are very complex to adjudicate and prosecutors encounter defense attorneys who have years of experience in defending impaired drivers. The result: New prosecutors often find themselves unprepared to try DUI cases.

The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (Responsibility.org) has spent 15 years creating award winning specialized resources for judges, prosecutors, probation and parole officers, and law enforcement to improve impaired driving education among criminal justice practitioners. Our partners and members of our judicial education advisory board advised us to develop a similar resource for law school students to increase the effectiveness of DUI prosecution.

Responsibility.org funded Suffolk University Law School to create Prosecution of the Impaired Driver, an intensive, interactive 14-week online course available to law schools nationwide. This is a first of its kind online resource for law school students that will prepare them to adjudicate complex DUI cases.

Suffolk Law School gathered a faculty of nationally recognized leaders in the field of impaired driving to develop the course which can be adapted by individual law schools as desired. It is easily incorporated into a trial advocacy course or can be used to teach case preparation. This new resource arms students with the knowledge needed to participate in DUI trials while simultaneously giving hands-on experience in impaired driving case discovery, direct and cross-examination of witnesses, and opening and closing arguments. The practical experience gained from this course will also help to hone general trial skills that are transferable to the prosecution of other criminal cases.

Law professors who are interested in teaching this course should contact Erin Holmes at [email protected].

Erin Holmes, Director, Traffic Safety and Technical Writer for Criminal Justice Programs, is responsible for managing Responsibility.org’s traffic safety portfolio and partnerships, and is involved in the development of traffic safety and criminal justice policy.

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