In this country, we tend to vilify anyone whose name is mentioned in the same sentence as the word “DWI.” Many immediately judge the person, condemning them before the facts come out or a trial is held. Rushing to judgment like that can often be a mistake, as a recent case involving a Navy SEAL shows.

The SEAL was highly regarded in the military community, having been involved in the rescue of Captain Phillips from pirates and in the raid on the Osama Bin Laden compound in 2011. In fact, he says he was the one who pulled the trigger on the shot the killed the terrorist leader. The man was charged with a DWI earlier this year after he was found asleep in a running car. 

As it turns out, he was using a prescribed medication that was given to him for issues related to his exemplary military service. The Deputy County Attorney has dropped the DWI case and reduced the charges to negligent endangerment. The negligent endangerment charges will be dropped if he sticks to the terms of the agreement.

A case like this one demonstrates two important points. First, it’s always unwise to jump to conclusions about people facing DWI charges. Second, DWI charges don’t necessarily mean a DWI conviction. An attorney can conduct his or her own investigation into the charges to determine if police followed procedure or if there were extenuating circumstances. He or she may be able to get the charges reduced or dropped altogether.

Source:, “ Prosecutors drop DUI charge against Navy SEAL who said he killed Bin Laden,” October 5, 2016