Marino Cautions Students at SADD Conference
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (March 8, 2011) – Rep. Tom Marino warned high school students in his hometown that one bad decision today could impact their futures – and sometimes, the rest of their lives.
Speaking today at the “Continuing to Make a Difference,” SADD Conference at Penn College in Williamsport, the freshman congressman related tales of his experiences as a district attorney and federal attorney.
“It broke my heart to have to prosecute a 16- or 17-year-old as an adult” because of a bad decision, Marino said.
Marino, of Cogan Station, Lycoming County, delivered the opening address at the annual conference that featured workshops on topics ranging from substance abuse and underage drinking to distracted driving and suicide.
The newly elected congressman also told the audience about last year’s close call on a Bradford County road. In April, while on the campaign trail, the truck Marino was driving was struck head-on by a vehicle being operated by a drunk driver.
“In a split second, there was this horrendous noise, glass shattering and metal crunching,” he said. “The first thing I thought of was `Who was going to take care of my children?’ “
The young woman driving the other vehicle was subsequently charged with drunk driving. She was clocked at nearly two times the legal speed limit, he said.
Marino spent three days in the critical care unit of the hospital.
“It’s a good thing that I was driving slowly or it would have been much worse,” he told the students. “And, if I had not been wearing a seatbelt, I would have been thrown through the windshield.”
Marino, who was sworn into the U.S. Congress in January, is a former Lycoming County District Attorney and U.S. Attorney.
He cautioned that a DUI charge or a criminal record could end up haunting a person for the rest of his life.
“If all things being equal and I was hiring someone, I would go for the person without the record,” he said. “Think about it. Think about what you’re doing before you do it.”