Leotta's father delivers powerful message to Bethesda's Walt Whitman High School

Students at Bethesda's Walt Whitman High School are hearing powerful messages this week about the dangers of drunk and drugged driving.

The father of a Montgomery County police officer killed by a suspected drunk driver in Rockville last December challenged the teenagers to think about the impact of drinking alcohol or smoking pot and driving.

"We want to save their lives," says Rich Leotta. "We want to save others' lives. We don't want the same thing that happened to my son Noah to happen to these young people here."

Officer Leotta's death has inspired legislation that would strengthen drunk driving laws in Maryland.

Two versions of what would be called "Noah's Law" are moving through the General Assembly right now.
Administrators at Whitman High are calling their program Today for Tomorrow.

"So the thought that we have with this program is that even if one student thinks about the choices they make when they're going out for an evening or if they're hanging out with their friends then we think we've made a difference," says Whitman's SGA advisor Sheryl Freedman.

"We know that not every student is going to take everything away from this program and some will go out this weekend and still make negative choices but if we can at least make them stop and think for a day or two then we've done our job."

Rich Leotta spoke to the students on Wednesday morning.