How Three DUI's Impacted Party Girl's Life
Twin Falls, Idaho (KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV) A local woman looks to overcome all odds after multiple DUI's and a family history of alcoholism. Life hasn't been easy for her, but she's sharing her story to bring awareness to the issue.
Drinking became a common activity for Amber Balles during her teen years.
"Drinking wine coolers, cheerleader beers," adds Balles.
Balles has always been known for her ability to party, even deemed "Budweiser Barbie" by a former probation officer.
Balles says, "I don't think I realized I had a problem until I started drinking after a break–up. And in '08, it was every single day, black out drunk, didn't know I got home."
But still two DUI charges didn't slow this socialite down.
"My first and second DUI were 31 days apart. It's ridiculous ...I didn't really get in trouble. I got probation and that was it and I don't think it was anything severe enough. And the majority of people who get a first DUI, get a second one," adds Balles.
Balles continued to drink at parties and local bars after being put on misdemeanor probation, but after having one too many, she left the bar one night and drove home.
While she managed to make it into her driveway,waiting behind her was a police officer...arrested for her third DUI.
Steve Conger, Twin Falls County DUI Court Coordinator says, "her very first day after she gets put on probation, she goes to a place she's not allowed to go and I ended up getting probation officers at my office with handcuffs looking for her so yeah, first impression was she 's going to be a problem child."
But even with the negative, came a positive as she formed a new friendship with the Twin Falls DUI Court Coordinator and off probation.
Conger adds, "she adapted very quickly...I'm proud of her what she's done in her life."
Mistakes made turned into lessons learned.
Balles ended up about about $25,000 for her three DUI's. She says she could have used that money towards a down payment on a house.