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Triangle Students March Against Drunk Driving

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RALEIGH — Students from Raleigh's Broughton High Schoolmarched with a message for North Carolina lawmakers Wednesday morning.Their message: give tougher penalties to those who drive whileintoxicated.

Raleigh police estimate there were about 1,600 students and teachersinvolved in the demonstration, many of them affiliated with theorganization Students Against Drunk Driving. The students themselves cameup with theidea for the march and organized the entire operation. Their inspirationcame from a fellow student who was struck and critically injured on hisway to school last year by a habitual drunk driver. Frank Nicholson'slife was changed forever that day.

Nicholson participated in the march and said he believes thisdemonstration 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 anemotional rally attended by Governor Jim Hunt and Lt. Governor DennisWicker. Hayes Permar, president of Broughton's student body, addressedthe group.

Bills now under consideration include proposals to toughen penaltiesfor drunk drivers, particularly repeat offenders. Longer sentences,mandatorysentences, counseling while imprisoned and impounding vehicles are allmeasures being considered.