Odds are if you’re finding this, you’ve just had one of the most traumatic experiences of your life: You’ve been pulled over and arrested for suspicion of a DUI (or DWI or OWI in some places).
I’m very sorry.
If you’re anything like I was, you’re beating yourself up, rubbing your hands across the lasting impressions of handcuffs asking, “How could I have been so stupid?
”, “What an idiot I was
”, “I am a worthless piece of shit
”. You might have friends and family getting on to you as well.
I’m very sorry.
Truly, I am. This is a traumatic time, and everything seems hopeless. You’re worried that your boss will find out and lose your job. That the DUI will be a scarlet letter on your future job applications and stop you from getting work. You’re worried that you might have to go to jail. You’re worried that everybody will know you as a drunk or as an alcoholic. You’re worrying that you may never be able to drive again. You’ve looked up the laws and you’re seeing a wide array of punishments
and sweating them all. You’re worried about the interlock device
. You may be worried that you’ll be drained dry of your finances from all of this. I did all of these things, too.
Take a deep breath.
Hold it.Hold it.
We’ve all been through some difficulties throughout our lives. Most of the time, you tough it out, get through it, and on the other side life goes on. Day-to-day is normal.
Now, let me get one thing straight - Drinking and driving is a crime
, is a stupid thing to do, a bad idea, and can be dangerous and lethal. I do not condone it. That said, I am not here to judge
. I’ve been in your shoes, and understand how you might have gotten there. I don’t believe a DUI is not something that should ruin your life - especially if nobody (including yourself) gets hurt.
Let me go on with some additional boilerplate - I’m not a lawyer, and am not offering any legal advice
. If you need legal advice, call a lawyer, they’ll be glad to talk to you. Every case is different - a lot depends on where you got arrested, your BAC, your judge, etc. I am not an expert in this process by any means - I’ve only been through it once (and certainly do not plan on being through it again).
I’m telling my story for a lot of reasons - when I got mine
, I looked and couldn’t find details about what exactly happens
. Even in our connected era, where supposedly all information is at our fingertips, I had so many questions and couldn’t find anything. I looked up people’s experiences, only to find random forum postings where people reached out for help, for understand, only to find internet randos getting all high-and-mighty and denouncing and admonishing them, which helps nobody. Sometimes I’d find a persons DUI story as a glib anecdote. I had trouble finding nuts-and-bolts information about how the many processes work, but also had problems finding out what the experience is like - both about going through it and life afterwards.
I felt completely alone.
I write this hoping that I can give you a little bit of guidance, let my experience ease yours, and let you know that it’s not the end of the world.
Yes, you fucked up.
But we’re going to get through this.You will survive.