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Drunk driving notoriety can yield material changes in a second

There but for the grace ... .

Drunk driving-related stories can easily elicit feelings of sympathy and compassion among some readers who see the intimate details of another person's DUI arrest and resulting criminal charge spelled out in local or national media outlets.

Indeed, there is a decided lack of empathy, too, displayed by many people. Drunk driving is, after all, a dangerous activity. Many advocacy groups and spokespersons see a DUI matter strictly in terms of a criminal transgression and as an offense that should be punished to the very limits of the law in every instance.

There is no question, though, that there is a distinct tale to tell concerning every DUI stop and conviction. We have noted in prior select posts the egalitarian nature of drunk driving arrests in Colorado and everywhere else across the country.

To wit: Although one case might feature a driver who has been stopped numerous times for drunk driving, another might involve a first-time offender who has never before had a single drink before driving. One roadside stop might target a doctor, with the next involving a construction worker, a youth counselor, a minister, an airplane pilot, an accountant or a member of 100-plus other occupational groups. Arrested individuals come from every racial and ethnic group and both sexes.

"I feel sorry for her. She made a mistake," was the comment offered up by a parent of students at a middle school regarding the drunk driving arrest of that school's principal recently. The individual was named middle school principal of the year in her state last year. Following her arrest, which played out prominently in the media, she was placed on administrative leave. There is some talk of her potentially losing her job.

"She is a great lady," commented another parent, who added that "people make mistakes."

Indeed, they do, and the consequences when they relate to a drinking-and-driving episode can be materially dire. A proven criminal defense attorney who routinely represents clients in DUI matters can seek to ensure that those consequences are mitigated to the fullest extent possible.

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