Suffolk University Law School is teaching law school students how to prosecute and adjudicate Operating Under the Influence (OUI) offenses. The Century Council, a national not-for-profit funded by America’s leading distillers, financed the first-of-its-kind intensive course in order to further advance the fight against drunk driving.
The class will form the basis for an online OUI/DUI (driving under the influence) course to be developed by Suffolk University Law School and The Century Council. It will be completed in 2015 and made available to law students nationwide.
The two-credit OUI prosecutorial and adjudicatory course is being offered Jan. 13 through 17 to second- and third-year law students at Suffolk University Law School. The course will feature practical courtroom work as well as guest speakers from:
- Law enforcement
- The National District Attorneys Association
- The Massachusetts District Attorneys Association
- The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles
- Cambridge Health Alliance
- AAA of Southern New England
Students will participate in a two-day mock OUI trial that is intended to give them an understanding of how OUI cases play out in court. The experience will better prepare them for legal practice.
“This kind of intense preparation is rare and important to ensuring our students are the best advocates they can be, both now and in the future," said Clinical Professor of Law Diane S. Juliar. "Students represent the commonwealth in court on dozens of cases involving a wide range of legal issues through the Suffolk Prosecutors Program and externships in DAs' offices. But while they are likely to handle many OUI cases in practice, as students they may be assigned just one case involving an OUI charge. This intensive training not only greatly enhances their ability to handle OUI cases, but many of the skills learned will better prepare them to handle all cases.”
“The Century Council is always looking for ways to combat drunk driving, and this first-of-its-kind program for the future lawyers, prosecutors and judges of Massachusetts is a great way to prepare the legal system to deal with OUI cases and not allow repeat offenders to slip through the cracks.” said Ralph Blackman, president and CEO of The Century Council. “We know many prosecutors are fresh out of law school, and, while they are well trained, we feel they can more effectively adjudicate these complex cases and reduce impaired driving.”
“This program gives students a great opportunity to delve into a specialized area that prosecutors commonly face in the courts,” said Suffolk Law Practitioner in Residence Mary Sawicki, a former career prosecutor. “So many of our students go into public service; this is a great benefit to our students and to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”