Celebrities and DUIs: A Bad Example to Follow

It seems that almost every day you hear another story about some celebrity caught drinking and driving. From Paris Hilton to Ty Pennington they all seem to be in a rush to see who will be next to get a DUI. However, driving under the influence (DUI) also sometimes called driving while intoxicated (DWI) is no laughing matter. In fact, it is severe and will have a disastrously adverse effect on your life.
Now, it may seem as though I am a little melodramatic. Most celebrities charged with DUIs recently, have had seemingly light sentences. I think that there are several reasons for this that I will outline below.

The most important Factor in the relatively light changes and sentences given to Celebrities’ DUI cases are the fact that no one was injured or even Worse killed. This is by far the most critical consideration any a police force or judge will look at when charging and sentencing
people for DUI related crimes.

A second important factor is that celebrities can afford high priced experienced DUI attorneys for their cases. These lawyers will know exactly how to minimize the charges against their clients. This also helps result in seemingly light sentences and costs.
Finally, I think that there is a degree of celebrities getting lesser charges and lighter sentences from the simple fact that they are celebrities. Famous and rich people are often able to get there way in life, even if it does not seem fair. However, I think that this is the least important of the three factors.

However, if you are not a celebrity or at least rich, these last two factors will probably not help you. The most important thing will remain the circumstances surrounding your choice to drink and drive. Be advised though that any DUI charges you may receive will most likely be severed.

At an absolute minimum, you will have your driver’s license suspended for a period and probably have to pay a fine. For more severe offenses and repeat offense, you can expect jail time. Moreover, it won’t be a few weeks like Paris Hilton but more likely months or even years. I think that the leniency shown to celebrities in their DUI cases is also having a very negative consequence on the public attitude towards drinking and driving.

In fact, I would go so far as to say that continuing lenient sentences given to celebrities in DUI cases risks undermining the achievement by groups such as MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) in reducing the number of DUI related fatalities in North America.

Therefore do yourself a favor don’t drink and drive. Even though celebrities get away with a light slap on the wrist, you probably won’t. This goes double if you have injured or killed someone. In these cases, even a high priced DUI attorney and the star power of Tom Cruise would be enough to get you out of that situation.