Local News

Triangle Students March Against Drunk Driving

Posted April 16, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— Students from Raleigh's Broughton High School marched with a message for North Carolina lawmakers Wednesday morning. Their message: give tougher penalties to those who drive while intoxicated.

Raleigh police estimate there were about 1,600 students and teachers involved in the demonstration, many of them affiliated with the organization Students Against Drunk Driving. The students themselves came up with the idea for the march and organized the entire operation. Their inspiration came from a fellow student who was struck and critically injured on his way to school last year by a habitual drunk driver. Frank Nicholson's life was changed forever that day.

Nicholson participated in the march and said he believes this demonstration will have an impact on legislators.

Student Angie Cox said what happened to Frank could happen to any one.

When the students reached the legislative building, they held an emotional rally attended by Governor Jim Hunt and Lt. Governor Dennis Wicker. Hayes Permar, president of Broughton's student body, addressed the group.

Bills now under consideration include proposals to toughen penalties for drunk drivers, particularly repeat offenders. Longer sentences, mandatory sentences, counseling while imprisoned and impounding vehicles are all measures being considered.