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Words of Advice if You Get Arrested for DWI

Mimi Coffey Words to Those Accused of DWI:
If you get arrested for DWI please do yourself a favor:
  1. 1.       Write out a 10 page autobiography of yourself (a recent Harvard grad told me his high school forced him to do it and it helped him fill out a successful application to Harvard). Focus on your achievements, what makes you shine above and beyond others, your contributions to society.
  2. 2.       Pick out ten pictures that define your life (kids, being a little league coach, a wedding pic) and buy a mini photo album and make a pictorial storybook that highlights your life(or go to and make a photo book with your explanations and narrations or places like Walmart do this too). 
  3. 3.       Write out on paper the two biggest challenges in your life and what you did to get over them. Detail how long it’s been since then and how you now look back at those challenges and take pride in overcoming them and the positive it brought forth.
  4. 4.       Ask 3 people to write character letters about you (tell them you may need them for court). Direct them to simply stick to character and good acts (nothing about the  DWI charges) and elaborate in a manner that someone who has never met you gets a good feel for you by reading it.
  5. 5.       Make 2 new goals/challenges for the future that you have always hoped to achieve and a game plan with a time deadline for achieving them (eg. run a marathon, lose 30 lbs, etc.). Start on them right away. Maybe you can even achieve them before your case is resolved. It gives you a healthy focus.

Take these tasks very seriously, as if your life depended on it. Make it as comprehensive and professional as possible (a judge  or DA may very well see the top 4 tasks).  Try to work and look at these things anytime you start feeling anxious, mad or depressed about your pending DWI charge.  It is very important to do these things to remind you, that a DWI charge does NOT define who you are.  You had a life, you have a life and life will go on with all the great things about you despite the outcome of this DWI charge. Show this to your DWI lawyer.  Bring it to court. Keep this by your bed.  Gain strength from the positivity of your life and what you have contributed to society. Know that your judge, DA, your lawyer, your jurors, your probation officer, jailers, or parole officer if applicable- NOT a single one of them are perfect or blameless.  All of them if they do their job right will be and should be most concerned about the whole package: who you are and what you do for society. Don’t pigeonhole yourself into needless depression. There is nothing you can do to change the facts of your DWI arrest, focus on bringing  truth to light or mitigating the damages. Don’t let the justice system or anyone in it tear down the great person you are. We all make mistakes. Society needs you to come back even more fierce and more positive. Remember, the greatest heroes of all time have overcome challenges (in DWI- George W. Bush had a DWI and later became President and Vice President Dick Cheney had two). DWI is the only offense where cops go hunting down social drinkers like prey.   Don’t let them destroy your spirit.    Mimi Coffey


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