Alcohol Addiction and DUI
Many articles on the subject of alcohol addiction and drinking and driving do relate the two to each other. Obviously, if you are addicted to alcohol, there is a high probability that you will sooner or later get pulled over and charged with a DUI. Also, drinking alcohol and driving, no matter your tolerance for alcohol, greatly increases the chances you'll be in an accident. Recent studies have showed how alcohol and driving mix to create dangers for other drivers on the road and yourself.
What is alcohol addiction?
Alcohol addiction is a dependence on drinking. You are addicted to the rush, come-down, or other mind and body change given to you by alcohol. Think of it this way: not all drug users are drug addicts, but those who must have drugs to just get through the day are clearly dependent. If you cannot go to work without drinking, spend one day without drinking, you may have a problem.
What is alcohol abuse?
Alcohol used in extreme just on occasion is abuse. It's different than being addicted, as you do not have a dependency on the alcohol. It makes no difference when you're pulled over whether you are addicted to alcohol or just had a few too many drinks. No matter what happens, if you drink too much you are a danger on the road and can be prosecuted.
When can you drink and drive?
There really is no safe way to drink and then drive. It would be nice to say a certain amount, but alcohol is taken into the bloodstream differently from person to person. Just drinking increases your chances of getting into an accident. That makes it wise to simply avoid ever driving after drinking.
What happens to first time offenders?
First time drinking and driving offenders are still penalized, but less so. Even if you're under age, you can be charged (actually, any alcohol drinking under age is illegal, so you can't drink one drop). First time offenders can typically end up with a suspended license, fine, and potentially jail time. However, just because you get less penalties does not mean you should risk it. You can get into an accident, and be charged with an aggravated DUI. An aggravated DUI is a stiffer penalty: take the license suspension times, amount for fine, and jail time for a first time offense and double or triple it.
What happens if you hurt someone?
If you hurt someone while drinking and driving, no matter whether you are an alcoholic or a first time offender, you can be charged with a felony.
What kind of help can you get?
There are many programs for helping problem drinkers. It may make you feel so invincible you feel you can drive, and then you are involved in a collision and hurt or kill another driver. Because the dangers are so great, seeking professional help is very wise. While this post won't say whether or not you should seek counseling, a treatment program, or get involved in addiction programs, it's clear you are not alone, can get help, and never have to drink and drive again.