Options for Handling a DUI or DWI


Driving under the influence is a red flag that your drug or alcohol use has gotten out of control. For many, committing a crime or getting into a drunk driving accident is a sign that they’ve hit “rock bottom.”

Drunk driving statistics reveal the following:

  • A person dies every 45 minutes in the U.S. as a result of motor vehicle crashes that involve an impaired driver.
  • A first time drunk driving offender on average has driven drunk 87 times before being arrested.
  • Roughly three in 10 Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash in their lifetime.
  • In 2002, Americans reported taking more than 159 million drunk driving trips.
  • 50 to 75 percent of drunk drivers whose licenses are suspended continue to drive.

Young people, motorcyclists, and drivers with prior driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) convictions are at an increased risk of driving impaired.

DUI and DWI Programs

Some outpatient addiction treatment centers offer a variety of programs for people with DUI or DWI convictions, including drug and alcohol evaluations and assessments, deferred prosecution, and alcohol drug information school.

Because of the costs to individuals, families and society, the legal system has created special programs for people addicted to alcohol and other drugs. Courts will sometimes defer prosecution for a DUI or DWI offense to allow alcohol addicted individuals to complete an outpatient alcohol treatment program. This way, people receive treatment to overcome their addiction and are able to keep a DUI or DWI offense off their long-term record. They may also be able to avoid fines, jail time and license suspension.

Most treatment programs are available only to those whose alcoholism, drug addiction or mental illness caused the behavior leading to their DUI/DWI arrest. Participants attend regular group counseling sessions and 12-Step meetings, usually for a two-year period, and may be required to meet on a regular basis with a probation officer.

Some courts also allow first-time offenders cited with DUI, DWI and other offenses to attend drug and alcohol school to learn better decision-making skills. The goal of these programs is to stop the cycle of addiction before lives are destroyed.

Research shows that those ordered into treatment by the criminal justice system do as well or better than people who enter drug rehab voluntarily. By being required to enter drug treatment, people may get help earlier than they otherwise would, which can minimize the damage inflicted by drug or alcohol addiction.

Get Help Today

Being convicted of DUI or DWI can result in fines, losing your license and possible jail time, not to mention the embarrassment, shame and disappointment of putting your life and the lives of others at risk. And the consequences get more severe with each subsequent offense.

With the support of a caring team of addiction treatment professionals in an outpatient clinic that offers specialized DUI/DWI programs, individuals can identify the underlying reasons for their drug abuse and put a plan in place to stay clean and sober permanently.

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