State laws vary with regard to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Many have a prescribed maximum blood alcohol amount and others have criteria for evaluating impaired driving and handing down a DWI charge. The percent of adults 18 years and older who are regular users of alcohol in the U.S. is 51.3% according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As of 2012, the percent of persons 12 years of age or older who use illegal drugs is 9.2% according to the CDC.
Signs of Alcohol and/or Drug Addiction
A Multiple DWI charge can be a sign of alcohol and/or drug addiction. Some of the signs of addiction are:
- Continued use of alcohol or other drugs in spite of consequences
- Need for increased amounts of alcohol and other drugs to get high
- Loss of control over the amount of drugs or alcohol used as well as the time and place of use
- Dependence or withdrawal symptoms when alcohol or drugs are stopped
Advantages of Alcohol or Drug Rehabilitation for a DWI Charge
If a DWI charge has been imposed you should recognize that laws vary from state to state, so the only sure way to verify these advantages is to contact a qualified attorney.
- Diversion – finishing a rehabilitation program can allow defendants to “divert” their case out of the criminal court system, allowing avoidance of a criminal record.
- Possible reduction of jail time or fines – time spent in an in-patient rehabilitation program may be credited toward jail time in some jurisdictions.
- Drivers license reinstatement – many states require education or treatment programs as a basis for reinstatement of your drivers license
If you are on a DWI charge, be sure to contact an attorney as soon as you are able so he or she can help you plan defense strategies. A number of factors can affect the court’s assessment of the rehabilitation procedure:
- Voluntarily seeking treatment
- Number of offenses
- Evaluation of the patient by the rehabilitation facility
- Jurisdictional laws
- Choosing a Drug/Alcohol Rehabilitation Facility
These facilities vary in their approach to rehabilitation. Generally, the most effective method is agreeing to combine treatment medications to reduce symptoms of withdrawal such as shakes, sweating, and nausea. These medications help the patient reduce cravings and allow him or her to focus. Through behavioral therapy, the patient learns to manage the triggers that cause him or her to use drugs or alcohol which often leads to a DWI charge.
Brief Overview of Therapy Styles
When choosing a rehabilitation facility, know a bit about the style of therapy that the facility proposes. Some of the more common types are:
- Twelve-Step Programs – These are self-help programs that are often consulted for help with alcohol abuse. These programs are useful as additions to formal rehabilitation programs.
- Motivational Enhancement Therapy – based upon the idea that the responsibility and ability to change comes from the patient. A therapist helps the patient make goals of his or her own.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – based upon the idea that the way we think causes our feelings and actions rather than outside influences.
Consult with an attorney before enrolling in a rehab program or making any decisions about your defense. He or she can help you in a number of ways.