Recovering The SelfA Journal of Hope and Healing

Abuse Recovery

Getting Your Life Back on Track after a DUI

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by Sara Stringer Young woman pulled over by cop

If you’ve been charged with a Driving Under Influence (DUI), you probably understand the seriousness of these types of offenses. With sentences that often include community service, license suspension or revocation, and, in some cases, jail time, DUI-related offenses are serious. And in addition to the legal troubles associated with these crimes, the individuals charged with them face a number of social and emotional challenges as well. For example, following a DUI conviction, issues like shame, depression, and social stigma are common, and can make moving forward challenging.

Thankfully, you can get your life back on track after a DUI charge. Keep reading for tips on addressing the challenges associated with these cases, and moving on in a healthy, productive manner.

Seeking Treatment

Some DUI offenses are the result of a momentary lapse in judgment; others, however, stem from deep-seated problems with drugs or alcohol. If you were charged with DUI, and you think you may be suffering from alcoholism or drug addiction, seeking treatment immediately can provide significant advantages to your health and quality of life. For example, counseling and group therapy can help you explore your issues with drugs or alcohol, as well as formulate coping strategies in the interest of sobriety and improved mental health. If you experience symptoms like the following, it’s time to get professional help in your battle against addictive substances:

  • Repeated use of addicted substances, despite negative consequences.
  • Obsessive thoughts concerning drugs or alcohol.
  • Risky behaviors, e.g., driving under the influence, unsafe sex practices, or putting yourself in harmful situations.
  • The onset of withdrawal symptoms if drug or alcohol use is discontinued.
  • Drinking alone, at work or school, or at odd hours.
  • Problems at work, school or home as a result of substance abuse.

Complying with the Courts

Depending on your specific charges, pleas and other factors, you may be instructed to comply with one or many court-ordered stipulations. And while punishments regarding DUI offenses can vary, they typically include license suspension, court-ordered counseling, house arrest, monetary fines and jail or prison sentences. According to Las Vegas DUI lawyer Michael A. Troiano, DUI crimes in Nevada can carry misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on the circumstances of each case.

However, no matter where you live or what your sentence may be, complying with the courts is essential to moving on after a DUI charge. Failure to do so can result in mandatory court appearances, more fines and longer, harsher sentences.

The Power of Support

Seeking support can help you move on with your life after being charged with DUI. Depending on your situation, this support could come from numerous sources. For example, support from friends, family members and other loved ones can be extremely beneficial. However, when this type of support isn’t available, a support group can provide a safe place for members to discuss their unique challenges, offer advice and express their concerns without fear of judgment.

Taking Control

Once you’ve complied with the courts and addressed any issues relating to substance abuse, it’s time to move forward in a positive way. In order to do this, you have to take control of your own life and happiness. First of all, forgive yourself for your decision to drive under the influence, and take steps in ensuring it won’t happen again. Once you let go of the guilt associated with a DUI conviction, you’re free to focus on your work, hobbies, and relationships, and work on being the best possible version of yourself.

Although DUI is a serious offense, a conviction doesn’t have to affect the rest of your life. With the tips provided here, you can get your life back after a DUI conviction.

About the Author

Sara Stringer is freelance writer who enjoys writing about natural health alternatives. In her spare time, she enjoys maintaining an active lifestyle through swimming and practicing yoga.

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Recovering The Self is a forum for people to tell their stories. Individual contributors accept complete responsibility for the veracity, accuracy, and non-infringement of their reporting.
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