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Old 06-17-2016, 09:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Opinions on upcoming DUI case please...


I had a DUI the end of February. I lost my license and all privileges. During the next month I went to treatment and entered therapy. I went back to court the end of March. My attorney had my privileges reinstated for work. I have 15 year old twins and am a single parent with zero help from my ex. Not even financially. I'd asked my attorney about running my kids to and from practice and 4-h meetings. He said no. Work only. I work from home and travel all over for my job.

My HR department found out about the DUI and since I have a company vehicle I was terminated last Tuesday. Prior to this I had my own consulting company and took a job in the corporate world after my divorce for the benefits, 401k etc. This is the job which I just lost. I have never been reprimanded in a job. Ever. I have had 1 speeding ticket in the last 20 years. That was when my sister went in to labor 2 months early.

Since losing my job, I have zero reason to be driving. I have other employment prospects whom would like to meet with me OR I could expand my consulting business. BOTH require me to drive quite a bit. That is on hold until my court date, which is at the end of June. Without being able to drive there is a zero chance of employment. I live out in the middle of nowhere. The nearest grocery store is 10 miles away. We do not have taxi's, UBERS, busses.

My kids have soccer, basketball, heptathalon practices as well as 4-h meetings. This equates to 16 trips at minimum to and from a week. My parents are exhausted from the last 4 months of the running of the kids and trying to live their own lives. I am 45 and they are in their late 60's. The kids have had to miss out on sleepovers, practices, meetings and ANYTHING extra to try to save my parents from running so much.

A prime example is tomorrow. Both kids have soccer tournaments in different towns. Normally I'd drop both off and stay for part of one to watch and then go to the other to watch and get them both picked up. At this point I have zero idea how or who will get them where they need to be. Me watching them both is out of the question. This means that I will not be at both or either child's games and they will have no one to watch them at their games.

My kids are 15 1/2. They could have gotten their permits in April. In order to do so a licensed parent must go with them and sign. A licensed parent must be with them for them to get their 50 hours of driving time.
They cannot do this without me as their dad is not in the picture.

My attorney is a very good attorney and to the point. He does not need nor want frou frou stuff to present a case. When I went to court on March 30 I asked my attorney about driving for work. He was like "Oh, I didn't get that back for you?" He had them back that day. I also don't think he truly realizes how much running my parents do for my kids.

My son has asthma. His rx ran out. He needs his inhaler. I cannot get it. My mom will get it when she can.

I realize that this is 100% MY fault. I am very thankful that no one was hurt because of my actions. I hate myself because of the situation I have put my family in. Because of my DUI I lost my license, I lost my livelihood, I lost the ability to get my kids where they need to be, I've lost my freedom. I've lost so much at MY OWN HANDS.

I am worried that I may go back to court and lose my license for an extended period of time. If this happens I cannot work and my kids cannot be in any outside sports, activities or even get their permits.
I honestly do not know what I will do if this happens.

I guess I am just wondering if anyone has any thoughts towards court. Is there anything additional that I can/should do? If I need an attitude adjustment I am open to that. I guess that is why I am posting. I don't really talk to anyone about this and I've sat here ruminating about this with my life on hold. Some days I feel very hopeful and others completely hopeless. Yesterday was not a good day and I could not shake this funk. I went to bed early. But I am not drinking.

Thank you all for your input. I'm open to gentle suggestions. I have been very down on myself throughout all of this. Rightfully so. This has been devastating... Thank you for reading guys.
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Old 06-17-2016, 09:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I lost everything due to a dui. Job, home, possesions. Had to move from the country into a town. It took me 4 years to get my licence back and now I may have to give it up again because of more fees they keep coming up with. I have a daughter. No activities requiring a car are done. That's life. We ride bikes.
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Old 06-17-2016, 09:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Girl, you know I'm your biggest fan. I wish I lived near you--I'd get your kid the inhaler

Let's look at this from the judge's point of view...

Before you today is a successful single mother. She made a really bad decision and got behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated. She lost her job, her self esteem and four months of freedom without her drivers license. If she doesn't get her license back, she can't get another job and can't take care of her children. Since she is the only parent they have, how will this affect their lives? What does her record look like before the incident? Record? What record? She has been an exemplary citizen, mother and member of society. Well, there was that one time in college...LOL just kidding.

Now, on the other hand, if I give her license back, she can get another job, she can take care of her kids, they will have learned from her mistake just like she did and be better for it. She can pay taxes out of her salary and buy groceries and medication. That is better for our town, our stores, our gas stations and me (the judge) because her taxes pay my salary. What possible reason would there be to keep her license from her. Maybe I'll just give her a year of probation and have her come in and pee in a cup once a month OR I could give her one of those thingies that she has to blow into to get her car to start. I think that would be the best course of action, don't you???

Of course it is. You are going to get your license back girlfriend and you are going to make your parents a nice meal and thank them for helping you out when you needed it. You are going to go to soccer with a huge glass of ICED TEA and you will hold your head high and say to the world, "Yeah, I got a DUI. I took steps to make sure it will never happen again. I am a stronger better person for it."

When you get your little "blow into it thingy", you can bedazzle it and make a cool keychain.

Try to have a great day!!!

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Old 06-17-2016, 10:01 AM   #4 (permalink)
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With all that you've said it's well worth checking into the Ignition Interlock.

Hardship for you is a lot different than for me. I just have to take a bus or get rides.

Talk to your lawyer about it, he'd know best.
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Old 06-17-2016, 10:41 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm so sorry you're going through this. If this is your first DUI, I think the judge will look at your (clean and productive) past and follow what STG said. I got a DUI about 13 yrs ago and I know how much it sucks. My dad had to drive me to work for awhile, at least until my trial. Where I live, you can "erase" your first DUI (for insurance purposes) as long as you complete your court-ordered classes and such. I had to go to AA, which ironically made me want to drink more! But, I went and got the papers signed. I also had to do some community service. I think you will be ok....but anything you can do over and above what the court orders will help your case even more. You can do AA meetings online, for example, if there are none where you live, and get your attendance signed/dated and present it to the judge. (Unfortunately, most of the judicial system is only familiar with AA so that's your best bet as far as treatment goes, at least for the judge and your case....) You can also see a dr/therapist/etc and have them write a letter to the judge that you are serious about treatment and are doing well, blah blah blah. I really feel for you, having to forfeit driving your kids to their activities. I have 4 kids so I understand how difficult that would be. I'm sure it's hard on everyone. Hopefully your driving privileges will be restored in short order and you can get on with life.
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Old 06-17-2016, 10:49 AM   #6 (permalink)
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All good questions for your attorney, who best knows the penalties for the precise charge you got, state laws, court expectations in your jurisdiction.

I hope everything works out well for you, Behappy.
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Old 06-17-2016, 11:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The only other thing I could suggest, if you lose your license for a longer period, is to move. Move to a place with public transit for your kids and for you. That would take so much pressure off everyone.
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Old 06-17-2016, 11:16 AM   #8 (permalink)
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A lot depends on the judge. I sat in court when my X got into trouble. I was very impressed w/ the judge who was actually willing to listen to the individual, not just the attorney. Maybe writing a letter for you to read aloud would be appropriate if given the opportunity w/the judge. You can learn a lot about the judge you will have just by sitting in open court one day and seeing how he or she handles things. That judge had very open communications with everyone, and I felt had a good handle on the situation of what was truly happening.

You are not going to be able to get a job in the corporate field that they offer you a company car for a while I would guess, due to the DUI. Even if the DUI is not on the record itself, by running your motor vehicle report they will be able to see your license was suspended and will know that way. Commercial insurance is very picky about who they allow on a policy, and I would say that is a contributing reason you lost your position. They are not likely to allow someone with a suspension, for a period of three to five years, depending on the insurance carrier. I work in the insurance field as a profession and see this happen quite frequently.

Is it possible to stay with your parents or someone closer to civilization until you get your license reinstated and can find employment? If so, I would definitely reach for that option. I would also let your twins go with a licensed driver and get their permit. Not b/c that helps you, but I am guessing it is important to them. Said from a mother of a teenage driver.

I know this is all very hard right now. Eventually it will be past you. I hope your future holds sobriety and peace and happiness for you and your children.
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Old 06-17-2016, 11:24 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Venecia's right. This is part of what you pay your lawyer for. In my state, the length of a driver's license suspension is determined by the Department of Transportation, pursuant to their rather strict and formulaic rules. (90 suspension for the first offense; 6 month suspension for the second, etc).

However, if your lawyer tells you that the judge has discretion regarding the length and/or term of your suspension, I think the judge would want to hear what you have to say. Heck, I would print/copy your opening post and read it to the judge at your next court appearance.

Good luck.
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Old 06-17-2016, 03:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
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What state are you in? Here in Kansas a first offense DUI results in a 30 day license suspension, followed by 1 year of using an ignition interlock device (which you have to pay for). I'd definitely recommend talking to your lawyer about that option.
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Old 06-17-2016, 04:58 PM   #11 (permalink)
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This too shall pass. I am in a very similar situation and feel your same pain and frustration. Time does keep ticking though. My situation is worse even and mentally I am taxed. Others have persevered and so shall we. I am literally crossing the days off my calendar 😂. Hardships make us stronger eventually and our stories will help others!

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Old 06-17-2016, 09:34 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Sorry you are going thru this, when I got my DUI several years ago, I started outpatient treatment right away, counseling and went to about 10 AA meetings per week and had a sheet signed.

By the time I got to court, the judge was so impressed with my efforts she let me off pretty easy & I got driving privileges back pretty quickly.

Hang in there!
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Old 06-17-2016, 11:23 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Behappy1 Sounds like a DUI 1st, not sure what State you live in but that really doesn't matter. Some folks may not like my advice but I don't care. I've had 5 DUI's, never been to prison. Until the last one I never spent more than a night in jail.

I had to drive several months with a suspended licence...well more than a couple. I made sure everything on my truck was legal, stickers, lights...ect. Typically I drove when people would be going and from work. Late night is bad.

I had a friend with a business and did "delivers" for him, I drove anywhere I wanted. "my own consulting company" if you drive to a meeting I don't see why it's not work related. Restart that company.

I believe you are a licensed driver. You have a restricted occupational license. Why not have the kids drive you to business meetings, getting work related supplies or deliveries? Last time I checked grocery stores had paper clips and staples, I'm always running out. Solicit business from friends at soccer games-it's done all the time.

In Texas a restricted license includes medical emergencies-it's sensible.

I recommend you look up the specific laws in your state (driving and DUI). Attorneys don't tell you everything. I've had to do a fair amount of research myself. Imaging being in a room with a Justice Department lawyer and a high $$ defense lawyer and being the only one that knew the specifics of a Pretrial Diversion. The secretary could have taken my disk and done 90% of it while we drank coffee. The defendant could not afford to offend anyone so I sat and played dumb-sorry I digress.

Your attorney sounds like my last attorney, probably too ethical what is "frou frou stuff to present a case"?

If it's a first offense don't worry about losing your driving privileges. You can't pay fines without a job and judges love collecting fines.

You have a drinking problem and a legal problem. They are related but not the same. Whatever you do, DO not get another alcohol related offense before totally resolving this one. Also a DUI 2'nd will make this one look like a headcold.

Finally good people do make bad decisions. You talk more about how this affects others than yourself, you are a good mother and a good person. You will get through this. Brighter days are ahead for you and sooner than you think. No one wants to destroy you over a single dui. Mostly they want to shake up so you never do it again.
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Old 06-18-2016, 03:48 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I'm a little confused.... you're worried about going back to court and losing MORE privileges? Didn't you already get sentenced?

Typically, you get a DUI and you get a license restriction for a set period of time. In most cases that is pretty standard and unless there are very unique circumstances your attorney can exploit - that's it. You do the crime, you do the time until your time has passed and you can have your license reinstated.

Unless you violate that restriction, you're not going to lose more privileges.

I've had two DUIs. One with two very young children. The judge didn't really care about the fact that having to transport them without a car was a 'hardship'. I guess he thought that my drinking and driving had created my 'hardship'. I drove them around with my bicycle for 90 days.

I hope you keep things on the legal side, work your way through this, use these unfortunate circumstances as a catalyst for your higher good, and embrace sobriety.
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Old 06-18-2016, 05:43 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I'm a little confused.... you're worried about going back to court and losing MORE privileges? Didn't you already get sentenced?
I have not been sentenced. DUI was end of Feb. Lost my license the night of the DUI. Went back to court the end of March -ends up my attorney didn't think I would be back from treatment by then (and I was). So he requested a continuance.. My attorney got my work privileges reinstated then in March. My pretrial is the end of June - my final court date is the first part of July. I live in Ohio.

I have seen mention in this thread a few times about a bike. I am surrounded by corn and bean fields. . The school is 22 miles one way. I'm all for a good workout it is not an option for me.
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Old 06-18-2016, 05:58 AM   #16 (permalink)
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You have a restricted occupational license. Why not have the kids drive you to business meetings, getting work related supplies or deliveries? Last time I checked grocery stores had paper clips and staples, I'm always running out.

Your attorney sounds like my last attorney, probably too ethical what is "frou frou stuff to present a case"?
Thank you! Before my termination last week I was felt it was ok to drive. I could go to the store on my way to a job site or at least run errands. Since the termination I have not went anywhere. When I asked my attorney after privileges were reinstated for work about driving the kids to sports he said no. But then said "don't you have a job site to look at that is near the school?" Duely noted.

By frou frou I mean he doesn't know nor seem to feel that he needs to know or cares of the specifics of just how MUCH this has affected my family. The kids are going to the bare bones of their activities. My parents are run ragged. I can't even legally get to the grocery store, or go get a can full of gas to mow my lawn. I legally cannot go get my sons asthma rx, or a bag of dog food for my dog.
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Old 06-18-2016, 07:20 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Hmm, well behappy, you have a hurdle in front of you and you need to get over it. I think you are taking the appropriate steps to present yourself in a positive light in the eyes of the court. There are things you can control, and things you can't. And what that judge does, it out of your control, but you can and will influence his decisions by presenting to the court that you have taken steps to pay you debt to society and straighten out your personal life. Those will all work in your favor.

Now, regarding the other things you mentioned, I am of no help. Logistically it sounds very difficult and you are dependent on others for their assistance. About all I can say is "use it, don't abuse it" and show gratitude. You will drive again someday and you can repay these people. Don't know if that helps, but it is my thoughts.
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Old 06-18-2016, 08:31 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Hmm, well behappy, you have a hurdle in front of you and you need to get over it. I think you are taking the appropriate steps to present yourself in a positive light in the eyes of the court. There are things you can control, and things you can't. And what that judge does, it out of your control, but you can and will influence his decisions by presenting to the court that you have taken steps to pay you debt to society and straighten out your personal life. Those will all work in your favor.

Now, regarding the other things you mentioned, I am of no help. Logistically it sounds very difficult and you are dependent on others for their assistance. About all I can say is "use it, don't abuse it" and show gratitude. You will drive again someday and you can repay these people. Don't know if that helps, but it is my thoughts.
When I said "get over it" I didn't mean it in a condescending way, I meant "get over that hurdle in front of you". Sorry, when I re-read it, it sounded terrible.
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Old 06-18-2016, 02:27 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Behappy, I'm with chrcarlson. You are now self-employed. You're going to the drugstore for pens. To the soccer fields to network. To the grocery store for, I don't know, a stapler. A restricted occupational license just means you might have to figure out a reason you're driving for *your* company. And if you're in the middle of cornfields, it doesn't sound like there'll be a lot of cops to dodge -- and it's highly unlikely you'll be pulled over even if there were. I wouldn't sweat it.
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Old 06-18-2016, 04:29 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Have your lawyer request to amend the restrictions to include all the things you mentioned, it is easily done on the forms they will fill out at sentencing. In fact you may be able to download the forms online yourself and have them ready for the judge to sign off on.

As said, speak up for yourself and state your case to the lawyer and the judge.
You went through a program and are being proactive, the judge will take that into consideration.

I had a dui and was self employed so my restrictions covered driving about anywhere during the day, who is to say where I was going but me .. you know to look at a job. etc.

Just never drink and drive again because it will only get worse next go round.
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