… than he who forthrightly accepts responsibility for his actions, regardless of the consequences.”
As a young Deputy DA in 1976, I was assigned as the supervising attorney of the Orange County (CA) DA’s office drunk driving program for multiple DUI offenders. It was called “Lucky Deuce” — DUI’s in California were referred to as “deuces” because they were originally violations of Penal Code section 502, and later Vehicle Code section 23102 and eventually VC section 23152.
Lucky Deuce was a 15 month program of counseling, rehabilitation and public service, by which multiple DUI offenders could earn less serious punishment for their convictions. It was a predecessor to and somewhat of a model for the statewide SB38 program later adopted by California.
Early on in my supervision of this program, I learned that alcoholics (and many, if not most, of the participants were alcoholics) were resistant to admitting their problem and even more resistant to accepting that there were consequences for their anti-social behavior.
Therefore, I wrote the title quote and had it printed on business cards which I then gave to each of the program participants. As the first step toward rehabilitation … and the hoped for leniency … each of them had to first accept responsibility for his or her actions. The more forthrightly each did so, the more likely he or she was to succeed in the program.
Of course, the quote is of more universal application and appeal than just in DUI cases. It often does take courage to accept responsibility for one’s actions … and doing so does demonstrate both honor and integrity … particularly if the consequences are substantially adverse.
With few exceptions, therefore, such acceptance warrants both respect and admiration.