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Posted on: March 31, 2021

Municipal Court honored for impaired driving prevention

Judge at dais addresses middle school students in socially distanced setting

PHOTO #1:  City of Victoria Municipal Court Judge Vanessa Heinold addresses Trinity Episcopal School eighth-grade students during a mock trial Nov. 5, 2020, at the Municipal Court. The court received an award March 30 for its efforts to teach students about the dangers of impaired driving.

A woman watches a uniformed girl wearing impairment goggles try to walk in a line in a classroom.PHOTO #2: Municipal Court Judge Vanessa Heinold, left, watches as Sarah Schoener tries to walk in a straight line while wearing impairment goggles Oct. 20, 2020, at Trinity Episcopal School. Students in Katrina Pogue’s eighth-grade history class participated in hands-on activities using the impairment goggles to prepare for a mock trial based on a fictional DUI case. Photo contributed by Katrina Pogue. 

The City of Victoria Municipal Court on March 30 received the Texas Municipal Courts Education Center’s Traffic Safety Award for educating the public about the dangers of impaired driving.

“One of our primary functions is to make the community safer by addressing traffic safety initiatives within our community,” said Municipal Court Judge Vanessa Heinold. “We are excited and honored to be recognized for our efforts.”

The court received the award for hosting and coordinating mock trials with local schools. The mock trials include an educational component about impaired driving, with recent trials focusing on fictional DUI cases and other unsafe practices.

In 2020, as part of the court’s mock trial collaboration with Trinity Episcopal School, Heinold, Victoria Police Department Cadet John Edwards and Officer Phillip Garcia visited Katrina Pogue’s eighth-grade history class to conduct hands-on activities using impairment goggles.

“Students in that age group are about to start taking driving classes and getting their learners permits, so it’s a perfect time to teach them about impaired driving,” Heinold said.

As part of the award, Municipal Court received two free registrations for TMCEC’s Virtual Traffic Safety Conference from March 29 to 31. Heinold and Municipal Court Administrator Tiffany Totah attended the conference to learn about topics related to traffic safety.

Court officials are looking into the possibility of partnering with community organizations to bring more educational opportunities to the general public. If you are interested in partnering with Municipal Court on traffic safety initiatives or events, please contact the court at 361-485-3050 or courtclerk@victoriatx.gov, or fill out the form at www.victoriatx.gov/courtoutreach

For more information about Municipal Court’s programs, visit www.victoriatx.gov/municipalcourt.

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