Jail is just punishment for DUI even though no one got hurt

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DEAR ABBY: I am normally a law-abiding citizen. I was pulled over a half-block away from picking up my son and charged with DUI.

I don’t dispute the facts, but I didn’t injure anyone. I had taken prescription meds (the meds did have warnings) in addition to having drunk three beers two hours earlier. I hurt myself and my son, because he needed me to pick him up. I didn’t put anyone else in jeopardy. No one was physically hurt.

I did not contest that I should lose my license for a year, but I do contest jail time. I feel if they are going to put me in jail, they should have put away the men who rear-ended my sister and niece and caused them lasting injuries.

I don’t deny my guilt. I suggest only that I am less guilty than others. Abby, what do you think? — PULLED OVER SOMEWHERE IN THE USA

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DEAR PULLED OVER: I think you are just as guilty as the individuals you mentioned, but because of pure luck you didn’t cause anyone physical harm. What you did was irresponsible because it could have placed your son in jeopardy. Pointing at “the ones who got away” is a waste of time.

This unfortunate incident should serve as a reminder about the importance of reading the labels and following the directions on medications, and paying attention to the problems that can occur when they are mixed with alcohol.

DEAR ABBY: My dog has been invited to a birthday party for another dog, but he won’t be attending because of a health issue. Can you give me some insight into what the protocol is for doggy birthday party gifts? I have asked a few people and received varied responses ranging from “nothing” to “Are you nuts?” to a gift card, dollar-store gift basket or a gift basket with doggy treats and toys. I’d like to know how to handle this so my friend — the dog’s mom — won’t be offended if I give too little, or nothing. — DOGGONE GIFT IDEA

DEAR DOGGONE: If you or your dog cannot attend a gift-giving party, neither of you is obligated to send a gift. However, if you want to be supportive, you can give your friend’s dog something as elaborate as a gift basket or as simple as a doggy chew toy.

P.S. Someone who would deem your gift to be “too little” isn’t much of a friend.

DEAR ABBY: I am a boy in middle school and have a friend I’ve known since kindergarten. We are good friends at school, but his mother seems to dislike me.

I have given this a lot of thought and cannot understand why she doesn’t like me. I want to change her opinion, but I don’t know how without making the problem worse. What can I do? — MISUNDERSTOOD IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR MISUNDERSTOOD: You appear to be mature for your age. It’s possible that the woman’s attitude has nothing to do with you personally. Because you feel she doesn’t like you, I think you should tell her how you feel and why, and ask her if you can change things.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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