Thursday September 29th 2016

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Consequences of driving drunk

If you’ve ever wondered how alcohol makes you drunk and whether or not alcohol can really impair your driving, you’re in the right place.  Here, we review the impact of drunk driving, as well as consider alternatives to mandatory jail time, including questions on DUI assessments, drug courts, or addiction treatment. Then, we invite your questions about drunk driving or its consequences at the end.

Every 2 minutes…

Sit out front of a coffee shop. Turn and look to the left. Now, turn and look to the right. Zoom in on at least three people and study them. They may be walking by, cycling by, maybe sitting at another table; old, young, male, female, doesn’t matter. Study them for a minute or two. What are they wearing? Are they laughing, walking their dog, running, having a cup of coffee while chatting on their phone with a friend?

Time’s up.That went by fast didn’t it? In those two minutes; someone, somewhere was injured in an automobile accident that involved a drunk driver. One of the three people you chose to watch will be involved in an accident involving a drunk driver in their lifetime, and probably not as the driver.

The High Cost of Drunk Driving

Maybe they will be injured for life, ending up in a wheelchair, or on life support. Maybe they will die. Maybe it will be today. Which one; the girl in the pretty red sweater? Maybe it will be the man in the business suit grabbing coffee on his way to the office, or the mom pushing her twins in a stroller? Think about them every time you’ve had too much to drink and get behind the wheel of your car.

Morbidity and consequences of drunk driving

Every 30 minutes someone is killed by a drunk driver. A consequence no one wants to live with. Other (unforeseen) consequences of drunk driving can include:

  • car used in the crime can be impounded (fees apply)
  • community service
  • hefty lawyer’s fees
  • increase in auto insurance rates
  • killing an innocent friend, family member, another human being, or yourself
  • maiming or killing others or yourself
  • mandatory jail time, can be lengthy with mitigating circumstances
  • may not be able to rent a car when needed
  • possible job loss and trouble getting a new job
  • suspended driver’s license

Treatment Instead of Jail Time?

While some states in the U.S. allow the option of alcohol abuse treatment instead of jail time; the consequences associated with drunk driving are many and differ from state to state. The DUI consequences website provides information on the legal consequences of drunk driving by state and which states allow treatment instead of jail time.

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Get Out of Jail Free Card

According to the Wolford Law Firm, judges in some states have the option of imposing alcohol abuse treatment, known as sober living, DUI treatment, or rehab, as opposed to a jail sentence for a DUI (driving under the influence) or DWI (driving while intoxicated). Studies have proven alcohol abuse treatment to be more effective than jail time in helping alcoholics recover and live a life of sobriety. However, how long a DUI stays on a record, as well as sentencing laws, vary by state.

As an example; California includes sober living as an alternative to a jail sentence for DUI’s and DWI’s in its penal code. Time spent in a rehabilitation treatment center with DUI rehab and sober living programs substitutes for incarceration providing the long term assistance that may be needed.

If you’ve been arrested for a DUI or DWI, seek help from a rehab facility that specializes in DUI treatment. They may be able to help you stay out of jail and get the help needed to reach and maintain a life free from alcohol addiction.

Photo credit: secret sheik

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About Suzi Martel

Suzi Martel, founder of In Suzi's Words, is a freelance lifestyle writer who has a passion for writing informative copy on a variety of topics including addiction treatment and drug rehab.

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