Scared Auntie

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.

Scared Auntie


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.