In August 2009, I opened a new file for a young lady who had been charged with a DUI. Little did I know it would take nearly 3 1/2 years to close that file.

I was able to get my client enrolled in a deferred prosecution program that would ultimately result in a dismissal of the DUI case. Little did I know that she was addicted to pain pills and was taking methadone to beat the addiction.

Things quickly went bad. She picked up a second DUI and failed to comply with the terms of her program. A warrant was issued and she ultimately pled guilty to the DUI that I was handling in late 2010. As part of her plea, she was still required to complete a DUI program and complete 10 months of monitoring.

Unfortunately, she relapsed and her addiction to pain pills began to spiral out of control. My client was lucky. She has a loving family and the support of good friends. During 2011 and 2012, she was in and out of drug treatment facilities in Alabama and Florida. She didn’t have a lot of money but she scraped together what was needed.

She has now been clean and sober for over a year. She continues to follow through with meetings and counseling. Her life is drastically different thanks to the support that she received from her family and friends. This is not uncommon but is the exception rather than the rule.

Last night I was able to get the court to terminate her probation and close her file. She was fortunate. The system worked for her. I was proud to give her a hug and send her on to begin the next chapter of her life.