One of the most common results of drug or alcohol abuse is driving under the influence (DUI). Every year, countless intoxicated drivers claim the lives of innocents on the road. In 2012, there were over 10,000 drunk driving-related deaths in the United States. Every time somebody makes a choice to get behind the wheel of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they are setting themselves and others up for tragedy. For all the work that advocacy groups have done during the past few decades, drunk driving still poses a huge problem all over the world.
Aside from the obvious physical dangers associated with the reckless and irresponsible act of driving under the influence, there are numerous life-changing ramifications to which one subjects themselves. A ticket for driving under the influence can cost serious money and result in the suspension of one’s driver's license. In today's hectic environment, losing something as critical as the ability to drive a car can have seriously negative ramifications. Someone with a suspended license will have to rely on the kindness of family and friends just to get to work every day - and family and friends can't always help. Public transportation isn’t always an option in the suburbs and rural areas, where a lot of the incidents tend to happen. If one can’t work, their financial situation may cause them to turn to drugs or alcohol more and more, resulting in addiction and a whole new set of problems. Personal relationships also suffer in the wake of a motorist driving under the influence. DUIs are serious indicators of alcohol abuse and a common element in the break-up of marriages and romantic relationships. The guilt from killing someone in a drunk driving-related automobile accident can also led to severe depression and, for some, suicide. Legal consequences of driving under the influence include, but are not limited to:
Many states require DUI offenders to undergo counseling in hopes of curbing their drug and alcohol abuse. Though many of these efforts have been very helpful, no prevention technique has been enough to adequately stem the flow of drunk driving and related accidents and fatalities. Many legislators have pushed for tougher laws regarding driving under the influence, but thus far, the bulk of the work has yet to be done.
If you or someone close to you is one of the many who drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol, you can’t afford to wait to get help. The National Alcohol and Substance Abuse Information Center (NASAIC) maintains a continuously updated national database of DUI help programs in your local area, as well as the leading recommended programs nationwide.