How Does a DUI Charge Affect Mental Health?

Being arrested is obviously a very stressful situation. Unlike other crimes, though, being arrested for a DUI is often a person’s first time in trouble. Look in any courtroom and first-time DUI offenders are often everyday people with no criminal history. The realization that their life is about to change forever, and not in a good way, can be very difficult to handle.

Repercussions of Being Arrested for a DUI

Affects on Mental Health From DUIIf you are arrested for a DUI, you will face the following:

  • Mandatory jail time
  • License suspension or revocation
  • Significant monetary fines
  • Possible ignition interlock device installation

Now, imagine being an “everyday Joe” and having to come home after an office happy hour to tell your wife you lost your license, have to pay $5,000 in fines, and may have to spend a month in jail. As you can imagine, this turns most people’s stomachs into knots. In addition to the fines and penalties each state lists, there are often severe mental consequences to a DUI.

Coping with a DUI Arrest

The first thing you need to do is take a serious look at your lifestyle. Do you have an addiction to alcohol or was this really a one-time thing? If you do have a problem, you need to seek counseling as soon as possible (in fact, it may be mandated by the court as part of your conviction). In addition to helping you address the addiction, this counseling may also help with the other mental aspects of being arrested for a DUI.

Some people will fall into a state of depression after the arrest. This may be brought on by self-loathing, financial problems, or social/professional problems, such as losing a job due to the conviction. Anxiety is another mental challenge some will face. They try to keep the arrest a secret and then find their world crumbling around them as the truth eventually comes out in the open as time passes and the sentence is handed down.

One study conducted in New Mexico showed DUI is often a sign of other physical and mental health problems. The study suggests that over 85 percent of both men and women convicted of a DUI suffer from alcohol related problems, and half of those individuals suffer from some other type of psychiatric problems. With such staggering numbers, counseling of some sort may be a good place to start regardless of the outcome of the DUI case in court.

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