What Are The Most Serious Consequences Of A Drunk Driving Conviction?


Mr. Taylor explains that, depending on whom the person is and the circumstances of that person’s life, the different penalties that can come with a DUI charge will affect people’s lives in different ways. For some people, losing their driver’s license is the most severe penalty. A driver’s license is often important to people who, for example, live in Southern California, because there is no public transportation and thus people need their licenses to get to work. For others, it is the conviction that is the most severe penalty. This is most likely to be the case for a person who is in the military, is a doctor, a lawyer, or some other profession that requires a professional license. The conviction, essentially, strips these types of people of their professional licenses and, in turn, their livelihood.

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Richard Jacobs (RJ): What elements of the DUI punishment have the most negative affect on the people who are being punished, the defendants? And why? For instance, license suspension, or the shame or the fines?

Lawrence Taylor (LT): Well, again, it’s like the average man, for each person, for each client, it’s different. For some, they are absolutely terrified of the idea of spending a single night in jail. I understand, much less dirty things . . .

RJ: Right.

LT: or six months, I understand. It would be terrifying for me. That is the most important thing. For many others, it’s the driver’s license that is critical. In California particularly, we live in cars, we don’t have public transportation to speak of, at least we don’t in Southern California. That not only is highly inconvenient, it probably means very possibly depending on the circumstance, your job. And, if you don’t have your job you might lose custody of your child; it goes on and on.

RJ: Wow!

LT: So that driver’s license is critical. We have clients saying, “I don’t care if I spend a year in jail, I have to have that license.” Now, of course, it’s an exaggeration because they would lose their job probably. . .

RJ: Right.

LT: if they were spending a year in jail. The point is, it depends on the individual, what that person’s needs are. If I have a person say who’s a West Point graduate or a doctor or a lawyer or a person with security clearance, it’s the conviction itself that is critical because they will lose not only their job, but their licensing, their profession. You can have a marine from Camp Pendleton here, an officer; he’s history if he has a DUI conviction.

RJ: Yeah.

LT: So each client is different and what is most critically important to them, is unique to that individual.

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