DUI stigma underscored in this tabloid tale

By June 27, 2017Drunk Driving

Name and shame.

As reported in a recent Idaho Statesman article, that is the opted-for strategy employed in one world-class tourist destination in New Zealand with a reported “epidemic of drunken driving” on its streets.

That locale is Queenstown, a travel Mecca admittedly more than a quick jaunt away from Coeur d’Alene and other Idaho municipalities. Notwithstanding its placement in a remote corner of the world, though, we find a prominent DUI-themed story that is receiving a massive amount of publicity there to be broadly relevant virtually everywhere.

And certainly in Idaho, where motorists are arrested and convicted on drunk driving charges every day.

On top of the myriad and harsh exactions that typically follow many DUI convictions (in Idaho, those range broadly from jail time and license suspension to hearing requirements, prohibitively large fines and other levied costs, and additional penalties), one Queenstown newspaper has found an additional way to punish offenders: public shaming.

What that means is this for convicted DUI motorists in the city: their names, ages and BAC levels staring out from the front page.

Truly, there is nowhere to hide. The Statesman article notes that, “With about 100 names, there was no room on the page for other stories” in the paper’s most recent edition.

Although the ploy might be a bit singular and dramatic, the concept of shaming is far from unique. In Idaho, too, an adverse stigma can quickly and easily attach for any driver who becomes embroiled with criminal authorities following a DUI stop.

And, as noted above, that repercussion is in addition to many other exactions that collectively yield truly adverse consequences.

Any individual facing a drunk driving charge might reasonably want to secure the proven assistance of a proven and aggressive defense attorney without delay. A strong legal ally during a trying time can promote both peace of mind and a heightened potential for a best-case outcome.

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