Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2015 Appelman Law Firm $1,000 Criminal Defense Scholarship! We’ve sifted through the applications and narrowed our list down to a final five. We will showcase the essays of the five finalists over the next five Mondays, and we’ll announce the winner shortly thereafter. So without further ado, here’s finalist #5, who learned just how much a DWI can impact your life.
My DWI Story
On October 25, 2014, I was involved in a single-vehicle accident where alcohol was a factor. Earlier that day, I had been consuming alcohol, and it was undoubtedly still in my system. Due to my lack of adequate judgment, I chose to drive anyway. That night, I was charged with driving while intoxicated.
On January 14, 2015, I pled guilty to DWI and was convicted of the traffic offense. Prior to this, I had always kept a perfectly clean driving record and had never been in any sort of trouble. My sentencing requirements included community service, a hefty fine, an interlock device in my vehicle, and a few alcohol-related courses. All of these stipulations have had a huge impact on my life and have made me realize the severity of my actions. I quickly completed all of my requirements and am now just waiting on the day that the charge can removed from my record.
By no means was this a “positive” experience, but it was certainly one that sparked a great deal of learning in my life. I know that my mistake could’ve led to far worse things, including ruining or ending my own life or the lives of others. I have truly learned a lesson throughout this experience, and I’m confident that I will never put myself in a similar situation again. I’ve made the best of a bad thingand have chosen to use it to my advantage. Criminal justice has always been my passion, and I strongly desire to be a part of and improve the lives of others.
As if I didn’t wholeheartedly desire to study and work in the field of law already, this event truly opened my eyes and heart to the idea of it even more. Throughout the past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to study and perform some work within the legal system, but, recently, I saw the other side of it. Throughout the time since the incident, I’ve experienced what the people I desire to work with have and will experience during their time dealing with the law. I know what it’s like to face the legal system, and I want to use that knowledge to benefit those who have to do the same. Having been in these people’s shoes will ultimately help me to do an even better job than I know I will already do.