The common conception of DUI drivers is that they are alcoholics. That is absolutely not the case. However, there are some alcoholics who do repeatedly get behind the wheel despite jail time, fines, and license suspensions. USA Today recently profiled one driver from Wisconsin who has just been convicted of his 12th DUI charge.
Despite his repeated arrests, he doesn’t see himself as an alcoholic. Amazingly, despite so many DUI convictions, he has never been involved in a serious crash or killed anyone because of his drinking. He doesn’t see his actions as criminal because of this.
Quoting his statement: Maybe that’s part of my problem; I don’t really look at it as a crime. It’s hard for me to accept punishment for something I grew up thinking was OK. In some ways I guess I still think it’s OK, but I know I have to stop.”
These types of people need serious interventions to treat their alcoholism. Incarceration can help for a time, since they are forced to stay sober, but the slightest slipup outside can send them in a spiral that leads back to prison. If you or someone you love is in this sort of situation please seek help from a mental health professional. Even if you have never crashed while driving tipsy, if it is a habit it’s only a matter of time.
This has been a message from the law firm of Stephen Kellis.