BAKERSFIELD - Almost 1,800 students at the Leaders in Life conference, held at the Rabobank Convention Center, took part in sessions covering pregnancy, college and career planning, and smoking.
But it was the sessions on drunk driving that perhaps made the biggest impact on students because of the reality presented.
The bailiff, judge, attorneys and defendant were all present at the convention center, as one of the conference rooms became a courtroom for the day.
Two sentences in separate DUI cases were handed down as the gallery of high school students watched.
The students paid close attention to the entire process.
"It gives me a message not to drink, because there is consequences and I don't want those. I know better than to drink and drive," Kevin Lara said, a senior at Independence High.
Hon. Brian McNamara of the Kern County Superior Court was hopefully that today would clear up any myths or misunderstandings in the students minds.
"To see somebody in chains being escorted in, hopefully have the impact," McNamara said. "Some of the comments from the people, they didn't believe that DUIs had jail time. That last case it was 90 days applied to it."
Sitting next to the assistant district attorney in the courtroom was Carla Pearson, a representative from Mothers Against Drunk Driving. She wants the students in the courtroom to take what they saw with them as they leave the conference and go back to school.
""They can go and talk about what they learned today and express what their concerns are and they can work together and make a difference," Pearson said. "They can make a big difference."
The students realized the reality of what they saw and how important it is for their futures to avoid a DUI charge.
"I put myself in their position. I was like, I can't, I don't want to do that," Lara said.