Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:
My nephew is a stupid brat. He’s 23 and just got busted for his second
DUI. The first time, last year, his blood alcohol level was through the
roof but he got off on a technicality. This time he refused to get out of
the car when stopped and started to drive off while the cop’s arm was
still through the window. The cop ended up with a broken arm and my
nephew is now being charged with a felony, actually several. He could
end up not just in a local jail but also in prison. It wouldn’t surprise me
if he’s right that he had been targeted. But the reality is that he drank
and drove, probably often. And continued to do so after what should
have been a sobering warning. Some of the family thinks some jail
time would do him a lot of good. Others think he’ll be scarred for life.
We agreed to go with what you said.
Dear Scared Auntie:
Get a lawyer and get a good one. Do it now, today. Yes you have
described an entitled jerk who needs to learn a lesson, several lessons.
But you have also described a kid who’s life could be completely ruined
if he were actually to end up in prison. Even if it means his folks have
to take some of their equity out of the house, keep him out of prison.
Some jail time, I agree, could scare him straight, but once he’s
branded a felon, lots of doors slam shut.
While you’re trying to keep him from ending up with a record, have
the lawyer aim for a plea bargain that will teach him the necessary
lessons. A mandatory alcoholism withdrawal and treatment program,
community service in a program helping people who have lost
mobility, fine and restitution for the injured policeman, as well as loss
of license. Yes he needs to learn some very basic things, belatedly and
soon. But what he learns in prison will crush him, and likely change
him in ways that will destroy his life and any chance he has to get on
track. If you do all this and he still fails, you may not be able to save
him from himself.