Judge Staudt volunteers every year with the Shattered Dreams Program. This program consists of a real life presentation of an accident caused by drunk driving. It is a combined effort of the law enforcement, fire department, Starflight, funeral home, hospital staff, tow truck company, school personnel, students, and court.
“Every effort is made to make this presentation life-like in hopes students will realize the consequences of driving under the influence, or riding with someone who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs” said Judge Staudt.
Judge Staudt not only appears on the scene, but magistrates the driver in the courtroom, admonishing him/her of the seriousness of the offenses. At the end of the day she meets with the student volunteers who assisted in putting on the program. This debriefing allows her to answer questions and educate students on the law and very real consequences when the law is offended.
“This is another opportunity to teach young people how valuable they are and how one decision can affect so many lives”.
“I was a student in the courtroom of Judge Edna Staudt’s Teen Court for three years. During that time, I experienced what it was like to be a juror, bailiff, defense attorney, and prosecuting attorney.
Judge Staudt has a passion to teach the next generation of leaders about the inner workings of the American judicial system. My own understanding of what goes on behind the scenes in the courtroom was greatly expanded due to her training.”
Never heard of it? If you drive, or depend on someone who does, you need to learn about it.
Over 1.3 million Texans have had their drivers license suspended, and not necessarily due to being irresponsible. They pled guilty or no contest to traffic violations, paid their fines, and moved on, rightfully believing that was the end of the matter.
Until they are later detained for another violation, possibly a minor infraction like a defective brake light or failure to signal. They then find themselves in shock at being handcuffed, arrested and taken to jail, totally unaware their license had been suspended for failure to pay an unknown delinquent surcharge on the previous violation.
Collection notices for the surcharges may not have caught up with them if they had changed addresses or the notices had been designed to resemble junk mail.
This scenario has been playing out for over 14 years and it is time for Texans to repeal the legislation responsible for this travesty against fellow Texans.
Judge Edna Staudt has long been a voice calling out in the wilderness for the Texas legislature to take action. She has seen firsthand the devastation this misguided program has had on families and individuals, especially those with limited or no resources to fight the system.
“Citizens who lose their mode of transportation because of delinquent surcharges lose their jobs, sometimes their homes and face immeasurable obstacles to take care of themselves and their family.”
Judge Edna Staudt
“’It’s taking money from people who are not criminals,’ Staudt said. ‘Then they keep on driving because they have to feed their family, they have to get to work, they have to get around.’ ”
“Teen Court was a chance for me to make a real and appreciable difference in my community. The program gave me first-hand experience in the justice system I could not have found anywhere else. With that in mind, it goes without saying that without Judge Staudt’s guidance, experience, and expertise, I never would have realized the opportunity to be involved in a program which has, to this day, changed my life for the better.” Alan Adams, Former Teen Court Student Volunteer
Alan Adams Former Student Attorney & Presiding Judge