My Life With A Dui, At 17.

When I was 17, almost 18, I was convicted of a DUI. I am 20 years old now and it has changed my life in more ways than anyone would ever even think it would. Every day of my life I am forced to face the fact that I was convicted of a DUI. Not only has this personally affected me, but it has also affected my family members and friends.

I have attended 36 hours of DUI counseling per the courts request, served 24 hours in jail, paid thousands of dollars in fines and have had my license suspended now for 2 years. Many people are quick to judge others who have gotten DUI's and that has prevented me from not only relationships, but friendships as well.

I currently can get my licence back, but I have to get an Ignition Interlock System installed first. I have to have the interlock device installed for a year before I can take it out. I have to pay a fee every month for this and have to pay to get it installed. I cannot drive any other vehicles unless they have an interlock device installed in them. My parents can no longer put me on the company insurance so I have to get insurance through a different provider, myself. I have to pay very high prices for my insurance because I am young with a DUI conviction.

My family has now had to go through the burden of my life being put on hold for two years and I feel as though it has affected them as well. Thankfully my parents are very helpful and have helped for the law part of the DUI, but what I am mainly struggling with is the emotional tole it has taken.

I know that I have definitely learned from my mistake, and others as well, but most people will not put themselves in my shoes and see it from my aspect. I am a very sweet, caring and bright individual who made a mistake. Most people don't see it that way. They see me not only as a criminal, but as a potential murderer. I also look at others who have lost their loved ones to DUI's and often wonder if they think I am this monster for the mistake I have made. At 17 I was not thinking in a clear way that I could have killed somebody. Looking at all the people that have lost their loved ones from a DUI offender deeply touches me and personally makes me feel and grieve for them as well.

My DUI conviction not only hurt my life, but brought many more positive aspects into it. I am thankful for getting caught and arrested that night because I could have ruined many peoples lives. I just want people to see my side and what I go through to try and understand that not all DUI offenders are horrible people. I wish I had the freedom to do, say and feel the things I felt without being judged or not being able to do those things.
KayGrim KayGrim
18-21, F
11 Responses Jan 8, 2013

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KayGrim: I soooo hear you! I got my first DUI last weekend and am emotionally devastated. My parents are helping me out too, but they cannot help me with the emotional side of it. I regret every day that I made such a bad decision, and what is worse, is that I am old enough to know better! Good luck to you! It has helped me just to know that there are people out there that feel the same way I do!

Crazy how i relate to you so much. I got my DUI at age 18. March 2013 and now I'm 19, I'm finally going to be able to receive my license back.

Im not sure if i will ever be the social, outspoken guy i once was. This DUI changed the person i was by so much.

What upsets me the most is the fact that i never got pulled over. In my case, I was so intoxicated i did a U-Turn and hit the curb as i was widening for the turn. 30 minutes pass as i put on the spare tire when i noticed the axle connected to the wheel was broken. Moments later a patrol vehicle pulls up behind my car. The officer comes up to me and asks what happened. Im honest and i truthfully admit to the officer i hit the curb broke the axle of the car and now im stuck here waiting for the tow truck. I always thought police officers where nice guys that would help as long as i was not endangering someone. He then notices im slurring my speech and asks if i have been drinking, i comply with the officer and tell him that i have been drinking and he slaps on the cuffs.

Thinking back to this situation in my sober state of mind, i really should of just left the dam car there, walk my *** home, and pay the morning impound fee instead of paying this DUI fee.

the thing that im p***ed about is that if its such a big deal, why dont they f***in teach this in school. I was never informed that if you were to get caught, get ready to pay for your life. little did i know.

I too went through a similar situation. I had to go through court supervision for a year and that just ended. I was not convicted but I still have to explain to potential employers or on applications that I plead guilty to a misdemeanor and mine will never get expunged from my record. No conviction but the arrest will always be on my record or a consumer report I'm sure. It stink b/c like you, the DUI doesn't define who I am. It was just a mistake and error in judgement made.

When I was arrested, I had drank the equivalent of 1 high alcoholic volumer beer+6-10 shots of rum. I had been at a beach, we were doing a bonfire and I believed we would be there until upwards of 3am, so I drank from 8-10:30 pm and stopped after that. Unfortunately, we had to leave 2 hrs. later due to the threat of the cops. I knew I was in trouble and I walked around for 15-20 mins. just trying to walk it off but obviously, I was still intoxicated. I got in the car, had driven for probably 10 mins. without knowing that my headlights were off. I was on a highway and the cop pulled me over and had asked if I knew my headlights were off. Clearly, I knew I was screwed. I remember everything that happened that night and blew a 0.084 at the police station, but that was at 2am, so I was probably at about a 0.1-0.11 at the time I was driving.

I had 45 days where I was able to still drive, then 1 month of no driving, then 5 months of driving with an interlock in my car, then another 6 months before my supervision ended. The worst part is not driving and having had my dad drive me to and from work everyday for a month. That was tough.

The 5 months of the interlock device was not bad. Get the Draager Interlock device if you have the option to, it's the best and most reliable out of any of them and it rarely gave me trouble. After a while, you get used to it and it becomes a normal routine during driving. I only had a couple people in my car b/c I didn't want everyone to know what happened, that was tough to get away with, but I found ways around it and the couple of friends who knew were supportive and understanding.

Obviously, my concern is towards my future. I had been in a new job for only 3 weeks before this happened as I had been out of work for 4 months prior to that, so I wasn't in the best state of mind and I think that contributed to my error in judgement. I had to explain this to a licensing coordinator b/c the job I was work in requires me to have licenses, but luckily, it hasn't been a problem at this point.

I did not let this affect me. For the first week, I was very depressed, as I had been depressed when I was fired from my previous job and out of work for 4 months. I could have fallen back into a depressed state, but I chose to work through the situation, still hung out with friends, still do go out. I think it has made me more self-aware of what I should and should not do.

I have sworn off drinking hard liquor when I drive as that is what got me into this mess in the first place. If I do drive, I will have a maximum of 1 or 2 beers and I have found that this is the best way around it. Obviously, when you go to a bar or to a club, you want to have a drink or two to loosen things up as I'm a shy person, but I have learned throughout this process to self-monitor myself and be aware of what I am doing at all times if I am driving.

The process doesn't stop though. Despite court supervision ending, I'm not in the clear. I have to struggle all the time now b/c I know that 1 more screw-up will lead to a conviction, will lead to driving privileges taken away, and will lead to potential issues with my job.

It's a stigma but unfortunately, what's done is done, and the best thing to do is try to make the best of the cards that we have dealt to ourselves.

One thing: when you get the interlock device don't get one you need to hum in. In Canada where I am I don't have a choice and maybe it is because of the cold my throat is too dry.. but being a girl and having one of those interlocks is a pain in the *** because you pretty much have to sound like a man to make the "humming" sound. I have been stranded in the cold for hours because of it. I heard in the states you can get ones that you blow into then just suck back... so get that for sure!

Just realized you said that you already had one in other posts.. hopefully you aren't going through the same thing with the interlock!

Yeah I have the humming one as well, we didn't have a choice between which ones we can get at the place I was assigned to go to lol it's okay though, it doesn't bother me too much.. but what did bother me was he didn't tell me that an alarm would go off after 4 aborts so that scared the **** out of me!!

hahaha yeah, I'm used to the alarm now but the first couple times it made me so nervous and awkward people looking at me. That's funny you didn't know though! Definitely something they should tell you lol! Glad it's working out for you though!

I honestly feel like you have been stalking me throughout the last year and a half of my life and decided to write a post about my life lol. but seriously this is like identical to my life. I too got a DUI about a year ago and wake up every morning miserable and socially embarrassed by what my life has become. I can't say it's been at all easy for me, but I just wanted you to know I, and I'm sure others, know what you are going through. I wish you all the best in the rest of your life.

And if you ever need a friend or support just let me know ;)

I'm sorry you've had to learn the hard way too. It sucks! But we are still alive and so are others. We have our whole lives ahead of us to do something great! :) I will definitely! You, please, do the same :)

If someone doesn't want to be your friend because you have a DUI they aren't worth your time. I have a DUI and that hasn't stopped me at all with moving forward in my life. I got a new job with one and guys understand who I date that I won't drink and drive. I had to have the interlock for five months and it was horrible!! It drained my car battery several times. But it's been two years since mine and in one year my car insurance will go down and I am getting it expunged off my record. Keep your chin up and don't let other people effect you.

You are absolutely right! :) Your interlock drained your battery?! That sucks! Mine is actually pretty good about that. It does suck to have it though and I will continue to have it for a year :/ But I actually feel proud to have it :) You can get it expunged after three years? Because in a couple months it will be three years for me and I would love to get it off my record! Thank you for your kind words and wisdom, I really appreciate it :)

Thanks for your post. I got a dui in 2012 at age 21 and it affected me deeply emotionally. I can't imagine how you must have felt getting one so young. It's hard deeling with the financial repercussions while still trying to afford college. I was wondering, did it affect your current or any future romantic relationships you've had? It's definitely affecting my relationship with my boyfriend of over a year.

Yeah it is, I now just got the breathalyzer installed in my car and it's very hard to find insurance and it costs me 76 a month for the breathalyzer. Since I am still under 21 I cannot have any fails at all or another 6 months will be tacked on.

Yes, the DUI has affected me in my relationships tremendously. It didn't ruin the one I had at the time, but it has definitely ruined the fact that I cannot get one. Guys don't want someone who can't drive and has a DUI on their record. It sucks, but I figure, if a guy can't accept that fact then I probably shouldn't be with him.

Add me/message me, I would love to talk more. :)

Hi KayGrim and digsolderbro,
Did either of you have an attorney ? Did you fight the case all the way? I just got my first DUI last month and am in the process...

Actually I was at a low point in my life and did not have any money for an attorney, so I had a public defender, that was the first mistake. If you get a good attorney, which would mean a lot of money, then you shouldn't receive the sentence I did.

I got a DWI seven months ago, and I can promise you things get better. I was also required to get the Ignition Interlock Device for a year. It sucks, but I'm halfway through the year and things are looking up. My only issue with it is that it's embarrassing. Only my close friends know I have it. Other than that, I have to make excuses as to why I can't offer someone a ride. The way I see it, the less people that know about my DWI, the better. But hey, if people find out, I won't care. Everyone makes mistakes.

And because everyone makes mistakes, everyone's a potential murderer. I hate how people are so quick to validate the hypotheticals when it comes to drinking and driving. Some people choose to speed excessively, run red lights, or change lanes without warning... all while sober. Are these people suffering like we are? No.

People who drink and drive should face consequences. I, as I'm sure you do, feel the ones we face are too harsh. However, if they were too lenient, what would stop me from getting a second charge? I refuse to ever let that happen because I've seen what a first offense has done to me. And unfortunately, most people who drink and drive will never get caught. I don't know a single soul who drinks and who also has a license who hasn't been behind the wheel after a drink. And anyone who says otherwise is probably lying.

I'm glad your parents are supportive. Mine were too, and now we're closer than ever.

First time DWI/DUI offenders shouldn't have their lives ruined. I know I'll be able to move on once my probation is over. I hope you can too.

Thank you very much for your words of wisdom and your kind thoughts. I was thinking the same thing about being embarrassed, but then I thought about the fact that they know I'm not drinking and driving and I feel that makes me a better person. So honestly I don't mind if people know. I would tell the whole world if I could :) I certainly learned my lesson and after seeing the effects it takes on not only me but others, I will never do it again. Thank you, I think me even being able to drive is helping me move on from that place in my life. I hope everything goes well for you and time passes quick! :)