This past Thursday Luke's Cub Scout den had a visit to Cortlandt Town Court to get their badge for civics. I was eager to go, because I actually know the judge. I sold his aunt's house a few years ago!
One thing that struck me about court was the huge number of drunk driving cases we saw. In the 90 minutes we saw people appearing before the judge, at least half a dozen cases of drunk driving or driving under the influence were there. One was even in custody, because the last time they appeared in court they were arrested AGAIN that very day for DWI! You can't write fiction like that!
Clearly, DWI is still a terrible problem, and I am going to be a wreck when my kids drive. As my mom used to say, I am not only worried about them. It is those other cars I don't know about.
After the court took a break, the den had a chance to speak with the judge, and they had a good question and answer session with Justice Daniel McCarthy. He was terrific with the kids and answered all of their crazy questions. I think, for the record, most kids watch too much TV.
We also got to spend some time with a state police officer who was there to testify for a number of the cases, and the officer showed the den around the facility, let them see the inside of the patrol car, and then answered their questions. He gave them a terrific talk about guns and their dangers, and I might just post that video up when I get 30 seconds.
This is something the kids will always remember, and understanding our system of justice, and the good folks who make it work on a municipal level-even the lawyers- was very gratifying to me.