The past 40 years have seen DWIs move from being a fairly minor violation, little more than a speeding ticket, to a serious crime in many states. With such severe penalties it can often be helpful to look at what has happened to people after they have had to deal with a DWI. Of course, some of the most easily accessible DWIs to examine are those of celebrities in the public eye. The results of these DWIs are surprising, and they often demonstrate the importance of dealing with the situation calmly and without escalating it.
The most recent DWI on this list, Amanda Bynes’ brush with the law, demonstrates how important keeping a clean record can be. Bynes was arrested at the end of September for her second DUI. She was out driving at 3 o’clock on a Sunday morning when she stopped her car in the middle of an intersection. The police pulled her over, and she was arrested after failing the field sobriety tests.
She had a history of DWI and other driving violations, as well as unrelated minor crimes. The entirety of her record has resulted in her being placed under her parents’ authority while she tries to recover from her recent downward spiral.
Kiefer Sutherland’s 2007 DWI is another instructive one for the value of not making the same mistake twice. At the time of this DUI, Sutherland was still on probation for a 2004 DUI. That repeat offense triggered a mandatory stay in jail. In this case, Sutherland was sentenced to spend 48 days in jail. Of course, in the end this did not end up seriously dampening Sutherland’s career; he just starred in yet another iteration of his hit show, 24.
Another celebrity DWI arrest worth examining is Charles’ Barkley’s 2009 DUI. He was arrested late one night for running a stop sign and subsequently failing the field sobriety tests. He ultimately ended up spending a 36 hours in jail and completing an alcohol treatment program.
One of the most important takeaways from this DWI is the way Barkley handled it at the time. The police all praised his calm, polite interactions with them. He did not escalate the situation, and ended up with a much smaller penalty than he may have gotten if he were belligerent.
George W. Bush
Yes, this is actually that George W. Bush. The former president got himself involved in a drinking contest with a tennis star back in 1976. Eventually, they ended up leaving the bar, and Bush shrugged off the offer to let someone more sober drive. A cop pulled him over and he was let go with nothing more than a $150 ticket, a sign of how much DWI offenses have changed since then. Of course, the real sign of how much DWIs have changed is Bush’s successful presidential run. So, if you have recently been pulled over for a DWI and are worried about how it is going to affect your life, hopefully this is a story you can take comfort in.