Besides possible jail time, fines, fees, and alcohol programs, there is a stigma that comes with receiving a DUI. Alice was in her 20s when she received her first and only DUI charge. After receiving this charge, she was never really able to overcome the stigma of having a criminal record. Although she achieved great accomplishments in school, she was continuously put down for getting caught. Everyone hears about the possibly jail time and fines that come with a DUI, but not many talk about how the stigma of DUIs can impact an entire life.
To many individuals, not being able to rent a car is “no big deal,” but telling friends and family about receiving a DUI can be one of the hardest talks you will ever have to endure. After speaking with family and friends about a DUI charge, some say that they face a stigma that cannot be erased for years or even a lifetime. The ignition interlock device can be issued to the person in some cases which indicates that they can only drive their vehicle with this device. Others may not understand this device and the reasons for having it, so relationships can become uncomfortable or strained. It can become “awkward” to speak with partners about future prosecutions or probations, so others may think differently about you. Although, you are the same person.
Another way a DUI can impact a person is through career opportunities. Although Alice was extremely accomplished, smart, and worthy of many positions, her DUI held her back. Many companies ask about criminal pasts in job applications, and this is something that cannot be escaped. The stigma can be broken over time. George Bush was once our president, and he received a DUI at age 30. Stigma can be changed over time, but it will take time. Until that time comes, don’t live with the shame that a DUI charge can bring to an individual, get in touch with a defense attorney that is knowledgeable and well known for their practice.
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