New Year’s Eve is an exciting time of year for many people, and while this should be a joyous and fun time, law enforcement agencies across the United States hope that party-goers will remember some important safety tips, especially using a designated driver and not getting behind the wheel after drinking or using drugs.
While this is something that may seem simple, it is also something that cannot be stressed enough and something that many individuals still do on a regular basis despite the great risk to their lives and the lives of others. Drinking or using drugs while driving can be a terrible mistake that could potentially ruin drivers’ lives as well as the lives of their passengers, other drivers on the road, and even pedestrians and innocent bystanders.
DUI Offender Tells His Story
Doug Fletcher from San Diego, California received a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charge on New Year’s Eve 22 years ago, and he cautions to everyone, “it’s not worth it.” Fletcher was driving home from a New Year’s Eve party two decades ago, and while he was not “so drunk,” he does admit to having a few drinks and being very tired. Fletcher remembers dozing off behind the wheel during his drive home when he crashed into two parked cars only a few blocks away from his home.
After the accident, Fletcher managed to get his vehicle home when he “panicked” and realized he would not get away with the hit and run. After returning to the scene of the accident, he was arrested and taken to jail. Fletcher reflected on the “horrifying” 24 hours he spent in jail while waiting to be released where other inmates harassed him and tried to steal his property. After Fletcher was convicted, he lost his driver’s license, and he noted how difficult it was to get around the city without a vehicle.
Not only did the DUI conviction cost Fletcher his driver’s license, fines, and attorney fees, it also cost him his employment for a period of one year. Fletcher was employed at a golf course, and although he was not fired, he could not work since the job required him to have a driver’s license. The entire ordeal was so traumatizing for Fletcher that he dumped all the alcohol in his home once he was released from jail, and he has not touched a drink in the last 22 years. “It really changed my life,” Fletcher said.
Taryn J. White is a legal research specialist and DUI law news reporter. Her current accomplishments include helping those facing any driving under the influence arrest charges, get free online assistance in learning how to fight a DUI case for the best possible outcome.