Drunk driving is a serious offense, especially for a young driver. But for Colorado teens who have already made this buzzed mistake, there may be a sober, silver lining. Christian Schwaner, a private defense attorney in Colorado Springs, has launched the First Step Scholarship, designed for teens who have a habit of driving while intoxicated. For the $1,000 scholarship, the teen must write an essay about the experience, drunk driving statistics, and lessons learned. The point, said Schwaner, who has represented many teens who have made this mistake, is to take “the first step” toward ensuring that this does not happen again.
"I was trying to find what might be something that is a light-bulb moment for these kids," Schwaner told The Denver Post. "Self-admission and self-education are very powerful tools."
The somewhat controversial scholarship has been met with mixed reviews. Colorado State Patrol spokesman Trooper Nate Reid suggested to The Denver Post that the scholarship winner be required to sit on some sort of MADD council to see if they are following through with their plan to stay sober while behind the wheel.
The scholarship winner will be announced this summer.