This Los Angeles DUI blog, like many other media outlets, is fascinated by ironic DUI arrests.
Most people don’t actually know what the word “ironic” means (looking at you, Alanis!), but it defines a situation with a paradoxical discrepancy. For instance, if you are listening to somber, dreary music while an adorable, colorful children’s TV show plays on the screen, THAT is ironic.
Also ironic: trying to plead innocence, after the police pull you over for driving under the influence while you’re wearing a T-shirt with the words “Drunk As Sh**” in enormous bold letters.
Yet that’s exactly what happened to 21-year-old Ross McMakin of Oregon over the weekend.
On Sunday morning, authorities say that McMakin drove his Ford Ranger pickup truck onto the curb and smashed into a parked car. His ex-girlfriend then tried to grab the keys, but he allegedly choked her and drove off by himself. Police were notified at around 3:30 in the morning, and they stopped him.
Per the Corvallis Gazette-Times, McMakin’s BAC level was over twice the legal limit (in Southern California, as in Oregon, that number is 0.08% BAC). He allegedly told police that his “girlfriend didn’t know how to drive stick shift,” so that was why he was driving. He faces a rouge’s gallery of intense charges, including harassment, strangulation, reckless endangerment, and DUI driving.
He also faces instantly infamy, thanks to his T-shirt — that he wore in his mug shot — which read “Drunk As Sh**.”
McMakin obviously is hoping his ironic arrest will fade and be forgotten. Unfortunately, the internet has a memory like an elephant – if you are arrested for DUI wearing an ironic T-shirt – that picture will unfortunately likely live forever in infamy, since it has a “viral element” to it.
On the other hand, someone like McMakin can seek to fight some or all of his charges. One option – which may or may not be available for the 21-year-old – is to seek something called expungement. Basically, if you plead no contest to a DUI (or guilty), in some cases, the court can later allow you to dismiss your case and remove it from the record. Obviously, this won’t help with the public humiliation factor, but it can help you when it comes to applying for a job or insurance. Plus, if you ever get arrested again for a crime like DUI (or something else), the expungement will prevent the court from “seeing” what you did in the past.
For help managing the aftermath of your arrest, call a Los Angeles DUI criminal defense attorney with the Kraut Law Group immediately for a free and confidential evaluation of your case.