Millions of Americans use alcohol frequently, and thousands of them get arrested in South Carolina every year for driving under the influence (DUI). People who get behind the wheel after drinking enough to become impaired endanger themselves and everyone else on the road, which is why impaired driving is illegal even if no one gets hurt.
Quite a few people who could find themselves facing criminal charges related to impaired driving wind up in their current situation because of a problem with alcohol abuse or dependency. For these individuals, voluntarily deciding to join a substance abuse program or undergo alcohol abuse counseling could be a very wise decision.
Therapy can reduce your risk of reoffending
First-time impaired driving charges carry the lowest penalties, but those who wind up charged with repeat offenses may face much more severe consequences. Addressing the underlying cause of your impaired driving could be a tactic to help you avoid future legal issues and increased penalties as a result of an alcohol problem.
If you can get your alcohol consumption under control, the chances of you getting behind the wheel after a few too many drinks in the future will likely decrease as well.
Admitting your issue can protect your most valuable relationships
Your spouse, children, family, friends and even co-workers will likely feel both concern and disappointment after your arrest for impaired driving. It can be difficult to admit to the people you love and respect that you have a mental health issue such as addiction. However, people are open to forgiving and respecting individuals who acknowledge and address the issues they have.
Instead of feeling embarrassed and doing everything in your power to avoid people finding out about your situation, the best approach may be to be honest and open with them about your charges and the way you have responded to them. People are more likely to give you a second chance and take your side if they know you are taking responsibility for your own actions and seeking treatment.
The courts may appreciate your proactive stance
Your friends and family members aren’t the only ones who will likely look at your addiction as a potential source of future problems. The courts will also be concerned about recidivism and the potential for repeat offenses. Instead of waiting for court-ordered treatment, consider enrolling on your own.
When you acknowledge your own substance abuse issue and take proactive steps to prevent an issue in the future by addressing the underlying addiction, you show to the courts that you are not a danger to the community so much as someone who has struggled with a common health issue. That could influence the penalties they assign in your case or their willingness to work with you.
Although there is no guarantee that substance abuse counseling will impact your employment situation, the strain on your family or the legal consequences you face, choosing to face your issues head on is still a respectable and intelligent approach. The potential for positive impact is there, even if all it does is help you avoid trouble again in the future.