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Hi my name is Shane, when I was a young nineteen year old minor I made the mistake of drinking and driving. I was given the maximum deferred sentence and community service hours. During my time doing community service with habitat for humanity I learned a lot of things. Life is short, I have seen people with far less who would never squander opportunities at life like I have.

That is when I decided to quit drinking and start living, I went back to school and started working full time and saving for my future. I have been having to take school part time because of sixty to seventy hour work weeks. I have maintained a 4.0 throughout college in spite of my heavy work load. I volunteer with the local symphony and with the United Way.

This leads me to my amazing wife and how my mistake as a young man has directly affected her as well. First though a little about my wife, she has a double bachelors and works for the United Way. She has been a star everywhere she has worked and is doing great work bettering Dallas in her current United Way position.

We are both adults now and I have an amazing GPA and a very good work history. Despite all of that I recently applied for a position in my field of study to start my career experience. This was with a reputable company that would have been a huge break for me and the perfect spot to start. The problem was my DUI from the age nineteen, I am twenty seven now and have long passed any thought of that person who made the mistake eight years ago.

The person I was has long gone and now I am an adult with a wife and responsibility. I have not had as much as a single parking ticket since, or before for that matter. Now my wife is being punished as well as me, we have plans for our life together and this, “minor” mistake has held us back from starting our adult lives off.

In the end I feel that the system that is suppose to rehabilitate and set people on the right path does nothing but put up road block after road block. The system has made it difficult to help those that help themselves; the worst part being it even hurts people like my wife who doesn’t even know the kid still being punished in one way or another. It also hurts the man I have become who saw the errors of his younger self’s ways and simply wants to make a life for him and his wife.

User story by Shane B. in Texas

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