If you have a DUI, chances are you have been through it all. You may have a felony or misdemeanor conviction; you may have an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) put in your car; you may have lost your job, especially if it involved driving; you may have spent your last dime on the fines imposed by the court and on the IID, which is installed and maintained at your expense; and you may have felt like everything hit you like a ton of bricks. There are ways to cope so you don’t feel like you’re alone.
Where To Find Help and Support:
- AA Meetings
If you haven’t already gone to AA meetings, now’s a good time to start. If you’ve already gone, keep attending regularly. If you don’t like your group, find another one. There are usually many other groups in your area. If you feel uneasy about going to a meeting in your home town, find an AA group in the next town or even two towns away. This will give you the anonymity you want. It’s true about feeling empowered by a group. Joining an AA group, which is specific to alcohol issues, will help you feel as if you’re not alone. Many of the people in the group will have the same issues you do. AA members want to help you with strategies for coping and for moving on with your life.
San Bernadino DUI lawyer, Stephen Levine advises clients guilty of DUI to remember that ‘You may already be required to go to a group for DUI evaluation and treatment. Keep in mind that although you think this is a penalty, it is there to help you. Use it and go to the group. Again, you will feel like you are not alone.’
- Support From Family and Friends
Enlist the support of your spouse or significant other. If you have a spouse or partner picking on you because of the DUI, you’re going to feel horrible about it almost daily. If you can’t get your significant other to be in your corner, marital counseling may help. You can also have your spouse or significant other attend Al-Anon meetings to find out what alcoholism is all about. If there’s an open AA meeting or party, have your spouse go with you. Let them hear other people’s stories, but remind them that AA is anonymous and they are not to reveal who is in attendance. Running into a friend or colleague has happened many times before at AA meetings. When you see the colleague away from the group, never discuss that you saw them recently at a meeting. This applies to you and to your spouse. Mum’s the word.
Another option is to find a good therapist. While many people don’t like the word “therapy,” it can really help you through this difficult time. It will give you a chance to work on whatever issues you have regarding alcoholism.
- Avoiding Temptation
Above all, stay away from situations which make you think about drinking or make you want to drink. Stay out of bars and any place where you used to drink. Avoid as many situations as possible which made you want to drink, such as going to certain places and hanging out with certain people who are not good influences for a sober lifestyle. While you will not be able to avoid all such places and people, keep it to a minimum if you can. Keep yourself busy. Physical activities are helpful for reducing stress and for keeping you pre-occupied with what you’re doing. It takes your mind off your situation and off drinking.
Finally, make sure you contact a DUI attorney for advice if you find yourself on a charge of DUI. They can help you with your post-DUI case. Stephen Levine advises ‘As a San Bernadino DUI attorney I always advise you talk to your DUI attorney for ways to make your post-DUI case easier on you.’ They are knowledgeable when it comes to strategies and legal maneuvers, as well as being able to help you find support groups and get treatment for alcohol and drug abuse.
Georgina Clatworthy is a freelance writer and former editor of respected legal website 1lawyersource. She is currently writing in a contributory capacity for www.mblklaw.com.