Tag Archives: driving under the influence

Under the Influence of Alcohol this December

DUIMany of our readers who are actively working a program of addiction recovery, know all too well what is like to be arrested for driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. In some cases, multiple DUI’s are part of one’s story. It can be that part of a narrative which embodies the unmanageability that led to you seeking help in the first place. While many of our stories are similar in several ways, the catalysts that precipitated treatment are often quite similar—arrest. It is often said that you cannot force someone to take the initiative regarding seeking recovery. Until someone is ready to help them self, how can they be expected to accept help from others? If demanding that someone seek help was all that was required for beginning to work an honest program, there would likely be many more people with continued long term sobriety. There is a significant number of people in the rooms of recovery who believe that hitting rock bottom is a prerequisite for being able to truly admit that one has a problem, accept that their way is not working and surrender. If there is any doubt in one’s mind, that uncertainty can quickly go from a spark of an idea to the wildfire of relapse. Naturally, for large percentage of people working a program of recovery, the penalties of driving under the influence were their bottom—leading to giving recovery a chance.

Alcohol and Driving by the Numbers

Of course, not everyone who drives under the influence has a problem with alcohol—”normal” people make poor decisions, too. People from every legal driving age group make the choice to get behind the wheel under the influence every day of the week in the United States. A choice that puts not just the driver's life at risk, but the lives of those they share the road with. Encouraging people to make sounder decisions when it comes to driving while inebriated is not an easy task, and every year the country must rededicate itself to education and prevention efforts. The major news regarding the dangers of using mind altering substances revolves mostly around opioids these days, and for good reason. The number of opioid overdose deaths every year has surpassed traffic fatalities in the preventable death department. However, it is important that we do not lose sight of DUI prevention, considering that 10,265 people died in the U.S. due to alcohol-impaired crashes in 2015, up 3.2 percent from 9,943 in 2014, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2015, there was an alcohol-impaired traffic fatality every 51 minutes.

National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

As we move through the 12th month of 2016 in anticipation of the New Year, we can all do our part to fight drunk driving. It is no secret that December is a month typified by heavy alcohol consumption, with holiday parties and all. More people will be in a position to make bad decisions then most months of the year. And even if you are not imbibing, you may be at risk if you are on the road. You may find yourself at a get together with friends and family who are drinking, some of whom will think they can drive. You may be able to talk them out of it, offering to drive them yourself or calling a taxi for them. Believe it, or not, little interventions like this could have huge benefits—potentially saving a life. The increased dangers on the road in December is why this is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, as proclaimed by the President of the United States. The proclamation calls on the entire nation to do their part to help prevent deadly car accidents that can result from drinking alcohol or using drugs. The President writes:
“Whether encouraging parents to set a good example for their teen drivers or educating every driver on the dangers of unsafe driving, we must recommit to doing everything we can to prevent driving-related injuries and fatalities. This month, let us continue empowering drivers to make responsible decisions and educating the American people on ways they can help keep our roads safe and our futures bright.”
For more information on drunk driving prevention efforts, please click here.

DUI: A Risky Road to Addiction Recovery

DUIThousands of people get behind the wheel intoxicated every day in the United States. Those who make such choices are literally playing a game of Russian roulette, with “bullets” that can either severely change the course of one’s life or end it all together. Unfortunately, despite the warnings and campaigns which aim to prevent the behavior, many Americans will simply ignore them and drive under the influence (DUI). Those who have gotten a DUI, OUI or DWI—acronyms for driving while inebriated in various states—in the last decade can attest to the fact that the experience is anything but delightful. While courts in each state vary on how they deal with the offense, more times than not offenders can expect to be hit with huge fines and some length of jail time. Most Americans who find themselves talking to a police officer whilst intoxicated do not consider the aforementioned ramifications of their actions before they put their lives and the lives of others in their hands.

DUI: Buzzed. Busted. Broke

People who choose to drive a car under the influence come from every age group and all walks of life; however, the practice is significantly more common among teenagers and young adults. Adolescents and college aged adults are far more likely to consume alcohol in a dangerous way, such “binge drinking.” A risky behavior typically characterized by having 5 alcoholic beverages for males and 4 drinks for females, over the course of a two-hour period. People who choose to binge drink become intoxicated much quicker and are far more likely to throw caution to the wind. It is no secret that drunk people tend to think that they are both untouchable and invincible, which are potentially deadly errors in their thinking. And to be fair, even those who are only a little buzzed can have feelings of indomitability. The reality is that even those who are just buzzed are at risk of a DUI or worse, a fatal car wreck. There is an ad campaign which aims to reach young adults who may think it is OK to get behind the wheel with a slight buzz. Hopefully, those who see the video will think twice next time they are considering driving after drinking alcohol. Please take a moment to watch the public service announcement—Buzzed. Busted. Broke: If you are having trouble viewing the PSA, please click here.

A Risky Road to Recovery

Being charged and sentenced for driving under the influence is by all accounts a terrible event, and hopefully nobody is physically injured in the process. On the other hand, there is, at times, a silver lining to such an experience. People who get DUIs are typically ordered by the court to attend 12-Step meetings and/or an outpatient addiction treatment center. Those who follow the mandate may learn that their drinking has gotten out of hand and has negatively impacted their life beyond just getting a DUI. If you are one of those people, you may see that your life has become unmanageable due to your unhealthy relationship with alcohol, and you may decide to give recovery a try. Out of the ashes of such a costly, life changing event, you may find the principles of recovery appealing. That is not to imply that every person who gets a DUI has an alcohol use disorder, but many do have a problem. For such people, a failure to change one’s ways and seek help, typically results in repeating the mistakes of your past. In fact, those who get one DUI are exponentially more likely to get another; there is no way of telling if the next time you will walk away so easily. If you are a young adult male who has gotten a DUI recently, and feel that it is time to take a hard look at your relationship with alcohol, then please contact PACE Recovery Center. We can provide you with a setting where you can look hard at your issues, which have led you to alcohol use and self-defeating behaviors.

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