A DUI arrest can literally be a sobering moment. For some people, the reality they have a real problem finally hits home. For others, it is just a compilation of a night of making some very bad decisions. Regardless of the situation, anyone arrested for a DUI should and needs to make some lifestyle changes to ensure a second DUI arrest, which will carry harsher penalties, never happens.
Was Your DUI Just a Mistake?
You really need to make an honest assessment as to how and why this DUI happened. If you rarely drink and were possibly just caught because of the circumstances, meaning you went out unexpectedly after work or something similar, this is probably the exception rather than the rule. Even so, you will need to make some serious changes to make sure it does not happen again:
- If you have lost your license, you will need to learn how to use the local transit system or consider commuting to work via bicycle. Car pooling is also a possibility. Since you cannot take a turn driving, offer to cover the cost of the gas each week.
- If you have not lost your license, take precautions when drinking. For instance, if an unscheduled outing happens at work, leave the car in the garage and take the bus, train, or taxi home. If the event is planned, discuss having a designated driver for everyone to ensure anyone drinking is not getting behind the wheel and can get home safely.
- Take the time to understand how blood alcohol content levels are calculated. Based on your weight, you can get a reasonable idea of how much you can consume without going over the BAC (please realize we NEVER recommend drinking and driving as even though you may not register over the .08 limit, you may still be considered impaired).
Was Your DUI a Sign of a Drinking Problem?
You are not alone if this is the case, as you have family, friends, and support groups that can help you deal with this problem:
- Seek counseling immediately. Be it a local AA group or a therapist, you need to find support that will enable you to begin the process of not using alcohol as a crutch.
- Alcoholism is a disease, so don’t try and fight it on your own.
- You may need to separate yourself from certain friends. For instance, if some of your friends at work are the “party” crowd, it may be best to avoid being around them for some time. If they are true friends, they will understand and will NOT put you any situation that will put you at risk again.
- Consider becoming more active athletically. Burning off some of that nervous energy with a bike ride or run will help take your mind off things and begin to introduce you to a new lifestyle that is much healthier.
The key here is in being completely honest with yourself. If you have a problem, it does not make you weak to admit it. If you don’t, you may find yourself before a judge with a second DUI and rest assured, you will more than likely spend significant time in jail as well as paying hefty monetary fines.