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Example DUI Apology Letter

A DUI apology letter is written for many reasons. It may be needed for court hearings before a judge. It may be required by an employer.

Or, it may be that the person who committed the act feels it's important to do, as a way of showing their remorse and regret.

Purple Judge's gavel


DUI is a serious crime where lives are at stake. And, like with all legal matters, a lawyer should always be consulted. The guidelines and sample DUI letter below is for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.

Regardless of who the letter is directed to (judges, employer, family, etc.) the number one thing that the letter needs to convey is that you fully understand the seriousness of your actions, that you take responsibility and by doing so, are taking appropriate action to ensure that it doesn't happen again.

This is true for DUI but also for all cases where legal infractions or misdemeanors have been committed.

Apology Letter for DWI

Sample DUI Apology Letter

Notes Sample DI Apology Letter


This changes depending on who the letter is directed to and is the first indicator to the recipient that you are showing them respect and understand the gravity of the situation.

Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms/_______________,
Use this formal address for employers or any other individuals.

Your Honor,
When you don't know the name of the judge.

Dear Judge (surname),
When you do know the name of the judge. Use 'Your Honor' within the body of the letter.

Open with the reason for writing the letter.

I am writing this letter to express my deep regret and remorse for my reckless and dangerous behavior.

For other reasons for writing a letter to a judge, summarize and replace 'reckless and dangerous behavior' with the charges against you.

Confess and apologize with a detailed account and specifics. You can also provide a little information about yourself.

As a family man and father of two, I've always tried to do the best I can and live my life with honor. I clearly failed on _____________ (date and time). I was drunk and got behind the wheel of a car which is extremely dangerous and irresponsible. I shudder to think of what could have happened.

(If harm was done to others or property, you need to mention it here.
Again, modify as required for different types of infractions)

If writing to a judge: I am so very sorry for my despicable actions and would like to apologize to Your Honor, the court, and city/town/community (where the infraction took place)

If writing to an employer: I am so very sorry for my actions and would like to apologize to you ______________(Mr./Mrs./Ms. + surname) and to every employee of [company name] whose reputations I may have tarnished through my poor behavior.

Acknowledge the hurt, damage done and implications.

If writing to a judge: I let myself down and disappointed my family. I've let society down with my selfish behavior. In the process I have hurt so many people and wasted the court's time with something that should have never happened.*

If writing to an employer: I let you down and more importantly the company. My selfish behavior has damaged the company's reputation.*

*Depending on your situation, and if there was damage to persons or property, specify it here in detail along with the implications, and address apologies to the victims as well.

Take full responsibility.

There are no excuses and I take full responsibility for my actions.

Promise that it won't happen again and why it's important that it doesn't.

I promise [ the court / Your Honor / you ] that this will never happen again. I now fully understand the danger behind my actions and am horrified by the fact that I could have taken my life, or even worse another person's life. I had no right to do what I did.*

*If this is a first offense, state it and mention how you've never been so reckless in the past. If you've been found guilty of drunk driving before, you need to mention it.

I will not let this happen again and have [ enrolled at Alcoholic's Anonymous / DUI School ] to ensure that it doesn't. I have also spoken with counselors /psychologists to help me understand why I chose to expose myself and the community-at-large to the danger of drinking and driving.

Include a statement of regret, a form of restitution (if appropriate).

I deeply regret my actions and have embarrassed myself and all those around me. I hope all involved will accept my truly heartfelt apology.*

* If property damage occurred, state clearly how you are going to fix the damages.

End with a willingness to do whatever is necessary to correct the situation.

Although nothing can change what I have done, if there is anything that I can do to somehow make up even a small portion of the damage I have caused, please let me know.



The Notes and Italicized Tips we include should help you customize our sample DUI apology letter to your own situation.

Additional Tips for Writing DUI Apology Letters

Other than No. 5 which is DUI specific all the tips below are appropriate for any letter to a judge or legal authority.

1. Type your letter, it can be handwritten if you have very good handwriting.
2. Be sure to sign and date the letter.
3. Be personal and honest. Your heart needs to come through in the letter.
4. Be accurate. No exaggerating or stretching of the truth, it will only hurt you.
5. Explain the implications on your license being taken away without making excuses.
6. You can also explain the consequences to your life of a criminal conviction. Again no excuses, just facts.


Need more? Our Tool Kit has two apology letters that you can basically copy and paste with a couple of small tweaks. They are:

Court Apology Letter to a Judge ⇗
Apology Letter to a Police Officer ⇗

Or, learn about writing a formal apology letter.

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