We talk about many factors regarding drunk driving on this blog, and much of that talk centers on the penalties that are possible for someone who is accused of drunk driving. Even the mere accusation of driving under the influence can change a person’s life, let alone a conviction. The penalties that most people think about when DUIs are brought up are the legal consequences, such as potential jail time, loss of license and financial penalties.
There are other consequences to a drunk driving or drugged driving accusation or conviction, and these consequences are far more indirect than the legal penalties mentioned above. For example, someone who has been accused or convicted of a DUI could lose his or her job. In addition, they may find that their personal and professional relationships are not like they were before the accusation or conviction.
All of this is in relation to an update on the Michael Phelps situation. We talked about his second DUI charge a few weeks ago, and he was recently suspended by USA swimming because of this arrest. Phelps is banned from competition for six months, and this puts a severe dent in his comeback hopes for the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Here we see the line being drawn: drunk driving is grounds for punishment in certain workplaces. As an Olympian, Phelps certainly has an expectation to avoid these behaviors. But what USA swimming has just said is that driving under the influence — a mistake — means that someone shouldn’t be allowed to perform his job for half of a year.
Source: USA Swimming, “Michael Phelps Receives Six-Month Suspension For DUI,” Brandon Penny, Oct. 6, 2014