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Washington Post Reviews ‘D.U.I.’

by Hank Stuever

WASHINGTON POST–  Oddly enough, one of the first people pulled over on the Oklahoma byways in TLC’s new “DUI” (also premiering Thursday) is a grandmother whose passengers have been smoking weed. She’s hauled in and given a drug test and made to wait until her family, who live in Arkansas, can scrape together enough money to pay the bail bondsman.

“DUI” is irresistible, picking up where “Cops,” “Jail” and other guilty-pleasure law-enforcement reality series usually don’t go. It is primarily interested in what happens to motorists after they fail a sobriety test. It follows them days and weeks into court appearances and the punitive phase of their charges.

What’s emphasized here are the disastrous financial and personal losses that come for everyday working folks arrested for DUI. Granted, they should never have been behind the wheel, but “DUI” is surprisingly uninterested in MADD-style scolding and more focused on legal process. It’s also refreshingly empathetic to everyone involved and therefore some of the best Christmastime TV you could watch — an excellent holiday reminder to anyone with a driver’s license.

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