Driving under the influence is a big problem in the United States. The U.S. NHTSA’s National Centers for Statistics and Analysis found that 29 people in the country die each day in an accident involving an alcohol-impaired driver. That equates to one person dying every 50 minutes. Alcohol-related crashes are also expensive, costing some $44 billion annually, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Many people who have found themselves facing a DUI charge recognize the importance of getting help. Most people who have a drink and get into a car never set out to harm another person. But once it happens, enrolling in a drug and alcohol treatment program may be the right move. Could this be the right decision for you? At the Florida House Experience, we encourage anyone who has been charged with a DUI to seek alcohol treatment, even if you don’t think you have a drinking problem. Doing so could save your life or someone else’s.
If you need more reasons, consider these benefits to enrolling in an alcohol program like the one available to you at the Florida House Experience.
1. You May Avoid Jail Time
Laws across the country continue to become more significant and harsh for those who drive while intoxicated. There’s no shortage of advancing penalties, including larger fines, the loss of driving privileges and even jail time for DUIs. Under Florida law, someone with a first-time DUI offense may receive jail time. A second DUI charge receives a mandatory minimum of 10 days in jail, which jumps to 30 days in jail for a third offense.
Those faced with jail time, even on a first offense, may want to really think about what could happen to them when they walk into a courtroom. While there’s no guarantee that entering alcohol treatment will avoid jail time, most judges look more favorably on those who do.
The court sees entering into a treatment program as a good thing since those who have DUI charges (especially multiple charges) generally display symptoms of alcoholism. To be clear, people who are dependent on alcohol may not be able to simply stop drinking. Through a treatment program, though, it may be possible to become and remain sober. Spending time in jail doesn’t cure or improve alcoholism for most people.
2. Active Participation in an Alcohol Treatment Program May Help You Keep Your License Long-Term
It’s also important to recognize that other penalties come with a DUI charge. While most people focus on jail time, other consequences can play a role in your day-to-day life-limiting your ability to go to work, for example.
Under Florida law, a first-time DUI offense can also lead to other penalties, including:
- Fines from $500 to $1,000 for blood alcohol levels of 0.15 or higher or when there is a minor in the vehicle
- License revocation – minimum of 180 days
- Community service of 50 hours
- DUI school for 12 hours
- Probation for no longer than a year
As you can see, just facing a single charge of DUI can be life-changing, but you may be able to get help if you enter alcohol treatment instead. Again, there is no promise that a judge will put aside any of these penalties, but enrolling in and completing your alcohol treatment could be helpful. It tends to be better to do this now before you head to court.
3. Your DUI Treatment Center Works with Parole Officers
Most of the time, your treatment center will work directly with your parole officer. That means that as long as you’re working through the program and meeting the goals set for you by your counselor, this information is communicated directly to the court system. This can help to show your judge that you are actively participating in treatment.
Many times, those who enter alcohol treatment will have penalties waived for a short time until they prove themselves in a treatment program. And, because organizations like the Florida House Experience work directly with your parole officer and the courts, you have someone on your side throughout this difficult time.
4. You Can Restore Your Life by Getting Sober
Take into consideration what alcohol recovery may mean to you. Right now, all you can think about is avoiding a DUI, but consider other benefits of enrolling in a treatment program like this.
- Are you struggling at work?
- Are your relationships with the people you love strained?
- Are you struggling financially due to poor decisions?
- Are you finding it hard to maintain other responsibilities?
- Are you ashamed of the example you’re setting for others in your life?
When you enter a treatment program, you begin to find the new you. You can learn how to stop using alcohol to hide complications and stressors, and you can overcome traumatic events in your past. And you can begin to rebuild a healthy, sober life. That’s easier to do if you can avoid the worst of a DUI conviction.
5. You May Save Someone’s Life
DUIs are necessary. The penalties are strict because alcohol impairment kills people. In 2017, there were 43,899 DUI violation tickets issued in the state of Florida. Of them, 24,334 led to DUI convictions, according to DMV Florida.org. With so many people on the road with you each day, do you want to end up facing charges for causing an alcohol-impaired accident that kills another person? That’s yet another reason to enter treatment.
Get Help Now and Begin to Put Your DUI Behind You
At the Florida House Experience, we’re committed to helping people get the support and care they need to recover. This starts with enrolling in an inpatient or outpatient treatment program. Meet with our team to discuss your situation. Find out how much support you can get for your DUI as well as for your future. Contact our team today.