Steering Teens Straight: Behind Bars

Junior Isaac Brieske arrested in suspected drunk driving accident after death of two students

After booking, Brieske waits to be taken to his cell.

Note: The events described in this article are not based on real events but are dramatizations meant to educate Carlsbad High School students on the dangers of drunk driving. No students were harmed or faced any of the legal ramifications described.


A two-car collision resulting in the fatalities of two Carlsbad High School students and multiple other injuries occurred on Jan. 25 at the crossroads of Chestnut Street and Monroe Street. The accident, occurring at 12:15 p.m., resulted in numerous casualties including the deaths of two students later identified as junior Sarah Nirschl and sophomore Briette Pietrocini.

Both students were active members of the school community. Nirschl played on the volleyball team and was preparing to run for ASB President. Pietrocini was a cheerleader and a member of the Best Buddies club, an organization that pairs club members with special education students at the high school.

“Sarah and Briette are examples of what it means to be a Lancer,” said Stephanie Nasser who will be taking over ASB next year. “They exercise good judgement and set the standard for being a leader at CHS.”

After suffering severe spinal injuries in the crash, junior Kevin Freeman was paralyzed. Last season, Freeman was one of the all-star long distance cross country runners at Carlsbad High School. After winning CIF and placing third in State, the team competed last fall in Nationals in Portland.

“It’s nothing short of a tragedy,” senior teammate Scott Snow said. “Kevin is a tremendous athlete; he was made to run and he loved it. Running could have been his ticket to such a bright future. That’s gone now.”

The remaining four students involved in the accident were taken to Tri-City Medical Center by paramedics. Sophomore Rebecca Nasser, junior Ashlyn Sprinkle and junior Courtney Benner were later released having suffered only minor injuries.

The responsible driver, identified as junior Isaac Brieske, was arrested and transferred to Vista county jail. Brieske has been charged with felony DUI and gross vehicular manslaughter.

“After bringing Brieske back to the station, we took his fingerprints to put on record,” Officer Jim Bettencourt said. “I then performed a breathalyzer test in order to record his blood alcohol concentration.”

Brieske responded with a BAC of 0.10%, significantly above the legal limit of 0% for minors. Following this test, Brieske remained in detention for his initial hearing.

“Since the person in question was in violation of the BAC rating, he was placed under custody of the state,” Bettencourt said. “His resulting information will be sent to an attorney who will report the case against Brieske and estimate an initial bail.”

Public Defender Matt Wechter argued that the fact that Brieske drove in order to protect Freeman, who was more impaired, should be taken into account when reviewing bail. Wechter called for bail review in a secondary hearing in order to analyze the legitimacy of the previous $500,000 bail set by the public attorney.

“In the next few days, Brieske will have another opportunity to request an alteration of the bail,” Wechter said. “The family can come in and attest why the bail should be lowered and for what reasons. This also gives the probation department a chance to write up a report as to what are his contacts with community as well as his criminal history which are all factors in the reviewing the bail.”

Brieske will return for a second trial in order to negotiate bail. Although Brieske has the opportunity to lower his bail, these criminal offenses will have significant consequences for his future career and life.

“Even though Brieske is a minor, the assumption is he will be charged as an adult instead of this being a juvenile case,” Wechter said. “This is an adult crime and will continue as an adult crime. The future of Brieske’s life will be deeply affected by this accident as he will be considered a general threat to society, which will restrict him from countless opportunities.”
Steering Teens Straight: Episode 2

Filmed, edited, and produced by:
Hannah Evans, Taylor Team, and Sam Stadlberger, CHSTV reporters

Steering Teens Straight: Episode 2 from CHSTV Videos on Vimeo.