DUI and Credentials

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by trishski, Jun 2, 2006.

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  1. trishski

    trishski New Member

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    My sister-in-law is an alcoholic and teacher. She has had at least two DUI's in the past ten years. Maybe even three. She is an alcoholic so you cannot trust to know her truths. She is apparently on medical leave from her job and is dealing with her most recent DUI. Because we seem to not get any truths from her, I am looking to this forum for some answers. What are the consequences for one DUI and a credential and what about two DUI's. It is my thought that a teaching credential would be revoked with a first and for sure with a second DUI....Can anyone out there give me some answers? How does your criminal record influence your credential? Thanks for anyone with any knowledge in this regard.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2006
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Not that I have a clue, but I bet it depends on which state she's licensed in. Is she in CA like you?
     
  4. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    In California, a criminal record definitely can affect your credential as can a demonstrated history of alcoholism, drug dependence, etc. It may not work quite the way you expect, though. Look here.
     
  5. trishski

    trishski New Member

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    Yes, it is a California credential...
     
  6. Elvis Fan

    Elvis Fan Rookie

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    I've posted my story here before, but I have a *felony* DUI convinction. CCTC suspended my credential for 30 days.

    Nothing will happen with one or even two misdemeanor DUI's. You have to disclose it on applications and that's it. CCTC doesn't do much in misdemeanor cases, only felonies. I speak from experience on this.
     
  7. KDS

    KDS Companion

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    i also have a DWI *felony* and i have been told that my credentials cannot be touched...info from union

    BUT b/c my son was in the car with me...i have CPS on my behind...and THAT is the problem i have with getting a job....sucks
     
  8. Elvis Fan

    Elvis Fan Rookie

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    Well, your Union is mistaken. If you have a felony conviction, CCTC will suspend your credential. In fact, they revoked my credential and when I got the letter from them, I moved heaven and earth to have the felony reduced to a misdemeanor and expunged. When they received the new info, CCTC then "stayed" the revocation and suspended my credential for 30 days.

    Your union shouldn't be giving capricious information like that. CCTC can (and does) anything they want to do and with a felony conviction, they will launch an investigation, you can go up to Sacramento and plead your case and then they will generally revoke. It's up to your attorney to then bargain down the revocation into a suspension. Good luck.
     
  9. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Whoa, Elvis. KDS is in Texas, not California: CTC and Sacramento aren't an issue.
     
  10. DreamWeaver

    DreamWeaver New Member

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    Hmm...now I'm worried.

    Hello,

    I am 26 yrs. old and underwent the unfortunate experience of getting a misdemeanor conviction when I was 18. It was an MIP or Minor in Possesion of Alcohol (one bud light to be exact). This was eight years ago and I have had no other misdemeanor/felony convictions since. From my readings of the many posts regarding DUIs, I know that my conviction pales in comparison to the worry many of you have felt and/or feel. However, I am concerned that this rediculous and extremely immature experience may hinder my chances of being a teacher. I am just finishing my B.A. and am in the process of applying for admission into my school's credential program. I have an extremely high GPA and some very complimentary reccomendation letters on hand. I am hoping that if I am entirely honest, I will have no issues regarding this distant incident.

    Has anyone dealt with such an issue?
    Any advice as to what I should do to further my chances in getting admitted to my school and to help ensure that I will get my credential after all?

    Thank you!

    Happy Easter!
     
  11. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Admission to the credential program will probably not be a problem - the high GPA should be pretty attractive, especially if you're contemplating something relatively high need such as science, math, or special ed. Last I checked, applicants weren't exactly beating down the doors of the credential programs.
     
  12. teacherwannaB

    teacherwannaB Companion

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    Check the application to the credential program. I know at my school they ask for all convictions other than minor traffic violations. Then they allow you to attach a letter of explanation regarding your conviction. One girl in my class is a daycare worker accused of child abuse (school aged kid said she bit him). She hasn't been convicted, only charged and is fighting to have it thrown out and her record exspunged. BUT I really doubt that she will be able to advance in the program untill it is expunged. Even then, I'd be willing to bet that she still doesn't get in.
     
  13. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    The original poster said that her thought was "that a teaching credential would be revoked with a first and for sure with a second DUI." Yes, one would certainly think that would be true, although it is unfortunately not. I would imagine that many parents/citizens would assume that after mutliple DUIs a teacher would have their license revoked. They would be shocked, I am sure, to learn the truth behind how most states handle these cases.
     
  14. Elvis Fan

    Elvis Fan Rookie

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    I work with a teacher who has had 4 DUI convictions and CCTC has done nothing. They've not even sent him a letter telling him they were investigating them.

    I have had one DUI and learned my lesson. I have never, ever touched a drop of liquor again after that horrible incident. My irresponsibility nearly cost me my livelihood. Anyone with multiple DUI's needs to examine themselves. one DUI is bad enough, but multiple ones?
     
  15. Almighty100

    Almighty100 New Member

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    CCTC has the following listed from Double-U-ww.ctc.ca.gov/educator-discipline/DPP-FAQ.html


    Will the Commission automatically deny or revoke credentials for some offenses?

    Yes, the law prohibits the Commission from issuing any credential to and requires the Commission to revoke a credential already issued to a person:
    • who has been convicted of any sex offense defined under Education Code Section 44010
    • who has been convicted of any narcotics offense defined under Education Code Section 44011
    • who has been convicted of any crime listed in Education Code section 44424, or
    • who has been found to be insane by a federal or state court
    • who has been judicially determined to be a mentally disordered sex offender under the law.
     
  16. Almighty100

    Almighty100 New Member

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    Misdemeanor DUI is not listed from the CCTC. And if you are wondering about Education Code section 44424...

    44424 CONVICTION (a) Upon the conviction of the holder of any credential issued by the State Board of Education or the Commission on Teacher Credentialing of a violation, or attempted violation, of a violent or serious felony as described in Section 44346.1, or of any one or more of Penal Code Sections 187 to 191, inclusive, 192 insofar as said section relates to voluntary manslaughter, 193, 194 to 217.1, inclusive, 220, 222, 244, 245, 261 to 267, inclusive, 273a, 273ab, 273d, 273f, 273g, 278, 285 to 288a, inclusive, 424, 425, 484 to 488, inclusive, insofar as these sections relate to felony convictions, 503 and 504, or of any offense involving lewd and lascivious conduct under Section 272 of the Penal Code, or any offense committed or attempted in any other state or against the laws of the United States which, if committed or attempted in this state, would have been punished as one or more of the offenses specified in this section, becoming final, the commission shall forthwith revoke the credential. (b) Upon a plea of nolo contendere as a misdemeanor to one or more of the crimes set forth in subdivision (a), all credentials held by the respondent shall be suspended until a final disposition regarding those credentials is made by the commission. Any action that the commission is permitted to take following a conviction may be taken after the time for appeal has elapsed, or the judgment of conviction has been affirmed on appeal, or when an order granting probation is made suspending the imposition of sentence and the time for appeal has elapsed or the judgment of conviction has been affirmed on appeal, irrespective of a subsequent order under the provisions of Section 1203.4 of the Penal Code. (c) The commission shall revoke a credential issued to a person whose employment has been denied or terminated pursuant to Section 44830.1. (d) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), a credential shall not be revoked solely on the basis that the applicant or holder has been convicted of a violent or serious felony if the person has obtained a certificate of rehabilitation and pardon pursuant to Chapter 3.5 (commencing with section 4852.01) of Title 6 of Part 3 of the Penal Code.
     
  17. Elvis Fan

    Elvis Fan Rookie

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    Here is the problem I had, the wording CCTC presents on felony convictions is nebulous. I personally don't regard a felony DUI as "a violent or serious felony." My attorney argued the same in front of the hearing panel. A "violent or serious felony" is one involving intentional violence: assault, rape, beating, sexual abuse, etc. CCTC claimed because I rear ended someone in a vehicle, there was "serious bodily injury." (there was not). With a DUI there is gross negligence and stupidty, but no intention of violence or any premeditation.

    I am not trying to say a DUI isn't an irresponsible and bad thing or that I was not responsible for my actions. Anyway, the judge sided with my attorney's beliefs that it wasn't a violent felony and after one year dismissed and expunged the whole matter.

    Many colleagues I know have had misdemeanor DUI and nothing has ever happened to them credential-wise.
     
  18. born2teach84

    born2teach84 Comrade

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    DreamWeaver -I was 16 and had a ticket for alcohol possesion underage. I was accepted into college, but when I applied for my job even though it was not supposed to be on my record the background picked it up. I didn't tell anyone before hand so they thought I was trying to hide. Long story short, I had to get a letter from my lawyer stating I had completed everything and that it was cleared from my record. I was hired but it was still hard to get the county to uderstand that it wasn't supposed to be there, that some person in the court system didn't file a peice of paper. :) Good luck
     
  19. ManUfan

    ManUfan Rookie

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    Okay I have a quick question, I didn't get a dui, but a dwai, a Driving While Ability Impaired charge, regrettably for driving high, however this was about 4 or 5 years ago, I cant remember whether it was a felony or misdemeanor, but no one else was involved, or hurt. I didn't have much marijuana, In Colorado penalties range really high if its over an ounce. But like I said I had squat. That aside I did my time paid over $10,000 for court, probation, classes, license reinstatment etc. Since then I have got my license back and have stayed clean as a whistle.

    I am really hoping to teach 6th grade one day, and I made a huge mistake, and I am a far more intelligent person than I was in high school. So what I was wondering:
    -Will a DWAI bar me from teaching? and in Colorado if anyone knows?
    -Is there someway I can get it expunged or is it there forever?
    -I also want to work at a day care in the meantime until I get my credentials/licensure and how will that be affected?

    If anybody has some answers to these questions I would greatly appreciate it!
     
  20. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Whether you can get a teaching license will depend on your state and district. Some places will happily accept you if you've shown that you're reformed and unlikely to commit this sort of crime in the future.

    You might consider contacting a lawyer to find out whether it can be expunged from your record. I think it can sometimes be done, but it will probably cost a significant amount of money and time.

    In any event, unless and until it is expunged, do NOT leave it off your applications. Lying on an application for a license or a teaching job is grounds for termination with no possibility for rehire or relicensing.
     
  21. ManUfan

    ManUfan Rookie

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    So what Almighty100 was saying " who has been convicted of any narcotics offense defined under Education Code Section 44011" I really don't know how the law goes in California. But does Driving High count as a narcotics offense? and at least in California?
     
  22. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    You really should be consulting with a lawyer on this one, not with us.
     
  23. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    And a lawyer in Colorado, for that matter.
     
  24. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    ManUFan: You need to:
    1. Find out if the conviction was a FELONY or a MISDEMEANOR. That may have a bearing on your subsequent steps
    2. Research the requirements specifically for COLORADO
    3. Contact an attorney to see about getting it expunged, if possible.
     
  25. ManUfan

    ManUfan Rookie

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    Alas! I got a hold of someone in the CDE licensing dept. after listening to a bunch of elevator music. But from the answer I got it sounds like I'm fine, I don't know exactly what the lady said, I should of wrote it down. But I don't think I even have to put my offense on my application, since it was a misdemeanor dwai, so I am pretty much good, but thanks again everybody for your help.
     
  26. Elvis Fan

    Elvis Fan Rookie

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    Even if the DUI was expunged, you still must admit it on any teaching application. The question on the application is invariably, "Have you ever been convicted of a crime (you must admit this even if the conviction was expunged)."

    So you answer, "Yes, conviction dismissed" if it was expunged.
     
  27. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    That's not always true, which is why it's always best to consult with an attorney who specialized in this sort of thing.

    In some states you are not required to disclose information about arrests that have been expunged. In fact, civil and criminal penalties exist for employers who wrongfully seek criminal records.
     
  28. albertoaguila

    albertoaguila New Member

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    I received a DUI in February 2007. I was told not to report to work just this past June because the California Commission wants to review my conviction. They now have all the paper work including court documents, DUI school completion documents, and police report. However, they have told me that the committee members don't meet until the end of August again. In the meantime, I cannot work and am losing income. Did you or has anyone experienced this, and what did you do? Is it ok to apply for unemployment benefits at this time while I am not teaching?
     
  29. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I think you can apply for unemployment, but your employer will have a chance to appeal it. They will probably win (and you will lose out on any unemployment benefits) if they can prove that they fired you for cause.
     
  30. travel4life

    travel4life New Member

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    I am also in the same boat - a DUI conviction and applying for my CDE license. Thanks for the help.
     
  31. collteach

    collteach Comrade

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    When I attended college in PA, a DUI or drug-related offense prior to being a certifed teacher would result in a person NEVER being able to be certified in the state of PA. At the beginning of every year, we were reminded of this policy. There were a few people in my classes that ended up with a BS of Education, but no teaching certification.

    I know that teachers are human, however, we need to be trusted totally by the community. One DUI is a mistake, multiple DUIs or using illegal drugs is just plain negligent.

    My sister had a teacher who was a heroin addict. The man would stand in front of the class and shake so badly he could not teach, but rather would give the kids reading assignments and worksheets and go sit at this desk all period. He left the classroom almost daily during my sister's class. Parents complained, the principal tried to "catch him" not doing his job, but he was a good pretender. Finally, he was arrested on a DUI charge and a large amount of heroin was found in his vehicle. He was fired. After the arrest, it was revealed that he had issues in 3 other school systems around the country. However, the systems tried to help him by giving him leave to go to rehab, etc. They just wanted him to go away, so they did not give him negative references when he left. Obviously, the rehab didn't work. He was teaching junior high and should have been a positive role model.
     
  32. pspguy29

    pspguy29 New Member

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    Most people arrested for misdemeanor DUI are not "reckless and irresponsible." They are decent individuals who made a serious mistake in judgment and got caught. No way a teacher should have their credentials revoked for misdemeanor DUI. The only viable exception is if the offender was transporting students or driving a disrict vehicle- then we have an issue. If an accident is caused in which someone is killed or seriously injured, then we have an issue.

    However, if a teacher gets a misdemeanor DUI during non-school hours, admits he/she made a foolish error in judgments, pays the fine and completes the classes and community service, I see no reason why that teacher's job or credentials should be in jeopardy. Most educators, as with most in other professions, will admit that there are times they have driven while impaired. The ones who are arrested are simply those who were unlucky enough to get caught doing so.
     
  33. KDS

    KDS Companion

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    Getting a felony DUI 10 months ago was the lowest point in my life. I had my 4 yr old in the car, thus it was made a felony. I finally hit rock bottom. I went to rehab and have been sober since Sept 28, 2006.

    But does this make me a bad person? Am i 100% reckless and irresponsible? Do i deserve to have my teaching credentials totally ripped away? I dont think so.

    Many people picture an alcoholic being the bum living under the bridge begging for money just so they can get wasted again. But an alcoholic can be the person who runs a business. Who is a Dr or Nurse....a preacher or minister....a teacher or a lawyer....a housewife or a politician. Alcohol and drugs do not discriminate. It is cunning, baffling and powerful...AND silent and deadly. (to quote the Big Book of AA) The alcohol is actually just a symptom of a deeper problem. It is how I handled my emotions and feelings. Some people eat too much, or shop too much or gamble, or get in destructive relationships or always put others down so THEY can feel better or....the list goes on and on. Drinking was the way that i tried to make myself feel better. But that is just ME. I cant speak for anyone else who got a DUIl

    Just b/c a person who teaches or wants to teach had or has a problem, doesnt make them a bad teacher or person. They have a disease called alcohol. It is how they HANDLE the diesease that makes the difference. Do they seek help? Do they live in denial that they can quit if they "want to"?

    Could a DUI be a one time mistake? It might. Could it be a sign of bigger problems? It might. To lump all people who get a DUI as reckless is an inconsiderate statement. I can oly speak for myself to say that I AM AN ALCOHOLIC. do i think that means i can never ever teach again? no. Do i think i might be able to help students some day? yes. Would i broadcast my problem in a classroom. NO. There is a reason it is called Alcoholics ANONYMOUS! There is a preamble that is said at the start of every AA meeting I have been to:
    ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.

    I am saddened by comments made by kcbutterfly and JustMe. But can i judge them and say they are complete morons. I cannot b/c a year ago, i might have said the same thing. I am more saddened by Collteach's story of the JHS teacher who had a heroin addition and didnt or couldnt get help. Just having a problem does not make you an irresponsible and reckless person. Living a horrible existance dependant on a demon like alcohol without getting help is 10000% worse.

    My name is Dawn...and i am an alcoholic. The most important thing i do each day is NOT to pick up that first drink.
     
  34. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    KDS...I wish you all the best in your recovery. I grew up with an abusive alcoholic (which is why I choose not to drink) so I know what your struggle is like. I am really proud of you for showing your children the high road.
     
  35. collteach

    collteach Comrade

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    KDS---I think the fact that this man moved from state to state and covered up his run-ins with the law and his addiction are what made him a bad person. I have many friends and family members who are recovering addicts (alcohol and/or drugs), I don't think they are bad people at all. However, one needs to be aware of the consequences that can come from being arrested on an alcohol or drug-related charge.
     
  36. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    First, let me say that I admire those of you who are working on moving past these mistakes in your life. I have stayed away from this thread because I didn't want to get emotional in my response. I personally have been involved in an wreck with a drunk driver and my injuries from that wreck (14 years ago) still affect my daily life. I have lost a family member to a drunk driver, and a close friend lost a child to drunk driving. So, my feelings on someone with a DUI are not objective and I realize that. I think the problem most people have with the thought of someone with a drunk driving arrest is that reflects a mistake in judgement and someone who is dealing with children all day should have good judement. I don't think having a DUI makes anyone a bad person, but it was a bad choice. As for the idea that most teachers have driven while intoxicated, they just haven't gotten caught, I don't agree with that idea at all. Maybe in the area where you live that is true, and if it is, I find that very sad, but here, not at all. Personally, I think all new vehicles should come with a breathalizer attached to the wheel so that you can't drive without taking a test. :soapbox: Sorry, I didn't want to get emotional about it.
     
  37. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    I believe that youthful indiscretions should be thrown out after a certain length of time, but ANY drug-related crimes (DUI is a drug-related crime) after one is teaching should be dealt with severely. I do not want such people teaching my children. Nobody is perfect, but drugs are a personal choice. People who teach and mentor our children should be those who are capable of making better choices.

    It's fun to make jokes about the teacher who kept liquor in her coffee thermos, or the teacher who reeked of smoke, or the teacher who frequented the LOCAL bar with Uncle Daddy and Bubba, etc, but I have no respect for those people even now.

    We have the right to a free personal life, but as teachers, we should make sure that our 'stupid stuff' is at least done where the children and their parents can't see it. Need I mention that some things are best not done at all?

    Our local high school's Addiction Prevention teacher was arrested countless times for DUI and possession. How does that look to people? I'd say it looks pretty moronic, in several ways, the two least being that : A. he did it and kept doing it, and B. he wasn't FIRED IMMEDIATELY.
     
  38. KDS

    KDS Companion

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    Thank you for the kind words beckysuek. I do agree with you collteach about the teacher who ran from his problem. It is a shame he didnt get help and continued to work around children.

    I will say that teachers arent perfect. We do (and sometimes should) hold them to different standards. It is a difficult and often thankless (not to mention low paying) job. That makes it all the more difficult when teachers do fall of the pedastal we put them on. If the Addition Prevention teacher HAD gotten help, he could have been SUCH a powerful force in the classroom.

    I think the bigger judgement of character is not THAT someone may fall, but what they do after the fact.
     
  39. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Wow, I am quite surprised and upset that my post was apparently deleted. Was it the word ignorant which was so offensive? Calling a person's idea ignorant is not the same as calling a person an idiot, and too many people cannot make that distinction.

    As heartbreaking as alcoholism and other addictions are (see my posts about Intervention in Time Out), it does not make driving while intoxicated less irresponsible and reckless. To argue otherwise is absolutely amazing to me. Truly. A person becomes drunk or otherwise intoxicated, gets in a vehicle, and puts themselves and every other person in their path at risk for death. Where is the responsibility and carefulness in that? As I said before, driving while intoxicated does not make someone a bad person, but it does demonstrate a lack of responsibility. Period.
     
  40. Mrs.A

    Mrs.A Rookie

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    Aug 2, 2007

    I am in the same situation as ChristyF. I have stayed away from this thread because I know my feelings about drunk drivers are not objective. My brother and his wife were almost killed by a drunk driver. For people who think this crime is just a simple mistake that people should just overlook I would like them to have spent the week in Cardiac ICU with me while my brother was on life support-waiting with my parents to see if he would live. I would like them to have been with my sister-in-law when she woke up and couldn't remember her husband and child. I would like them to have seen the car my brother and sister-in-law were driving-with the car seat in the back split down the middle-knowing that if my nephew had been in that car that he would have been killed instantly. I know I'm not objective but if you have ever driven drunk you could have done that to an innocent family that did nothing but drive on the road with you. Just because you didn't actually hurt someone doesn't change the crime. My brother will never run with his children-he will never run period-thankfully he can walk. And the driver who did this to him paid the ultimate price- she died. She will never have the chance to make a better, more responsible choice. I am all for forgiveness but I think DUI should be treated much more seriously and people should not be given a chance to do it a second time. Ok, off my soapbox. If you are getting help then I admire you.
     
  41. freddy1

    freddy1 New Member

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    Aug 31, 2007

    Hello Elvisfan:)
    I am a Substitute Teacher on a temporary permit. I am waiting to know the decision on my teaching credential. I have a misdemeanor conviction on welfare fraud. Back in Oct. 2000 I applied for foodstamps. I recieved them for a period of 6 months. During that period I was going through a terrible time in my marriage and my husband was rarely ever home. In fact, I filed a missing persons report several times on him not knowing if he was dead or alive. He had an alcohol/drug problem.

    Anyhow, on the reports you fill out every month you must report any changes in the home. I did not report that my husband and I were seperated. He was working two jobs and I never recieved any money from him for that second part-time job he had. That was "His" seperate money. I even kept what was going on in my marriage from my mother. I guess I was ashamed and did not want to hear all the "I told you so".

    My father who I was very close to was in a coma and later passed away in December of that year. I know that I made a serious mistake and that I should have reported everything. I paid back all the foodstamps the county says I owed plus I did all my community service and had the case expunged in Jan. 2007. Other than this mistake, I never have ever broken any law. What do you think the commission is going to do? Do you think I have a chance of pursuing my life long dream of being a teacher? I would like advice from anyone who can offer some. Please help??
     
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