Today, Tacoma Trauma Trust hosted the 3rd Annual Sheena Blair DUI Prevention Summit. There were thirty REALLY smart people from State Representatives, Senators, Law Enforcement, a BUNCH of DUI Prosecutors, the Impaired driving program manager from the Wa Traffic Safety Commission, Pierce County Sheriff, several Liquor Control officers INCLUDING the Chief of the Liquor Control Board a County Council member and a Representative from the Pierce County Executive’s office.
There were open, honest discussions among the various agencies, questions asked and answered. SOMETIMES procedures that may make sense to US, might be a time wasting burden to those in the field. SOMETIMES a little tweek to a procedure might actually work better than a “legislative fix”. We finally talked about JAILS. Jails are a HUGE part of this process that are RARELY talked about in discussions in Olympia. Sheriff Pastor gave a VERY effective presentation about this issue and made it known that it COULD become an unintended pinch point AND an unfunded mandate without a fix SOON.
We purposely added 10-15 minute breaks every hour to allow these people to mingle and engage in side conversations. I stood on the periphery of some of those conversations and again, they were enlightening and informative. Former defense lawyer talking about defending a DUI to a County Sheriff and left the Deputy with a whole new perspective. Representative Goodman remarked that these breaks and opportunities were WONDERFUL, because in hearings and other meetings don’t allow for those kind of interactions.
This was a productive and beautiful day. We want to thank Val and Kim from Tacoma Trauma Trust for making this event happen. At the beginning and the end of this event I explained that our goal in doing these summits is two fold. First, of course, to do everything we can to STOP the outrage of DUI vehicular homicide. JUST as important to US is to move Sheena’s spirit forward. ALL of these really smart people helped us do that today. Thank you all SO much.