Many people who receive a DUI conviction move forward without another charge. In these cases, perhaps they had a drink or two with a meal and did not realize their blood alcohol content was too high. They accept the mistake and take steps to ensure it does not happen again.
Sometimes, though, people receive multiple DUI convictions. They may get behind the wheel even though they feel “fuzzy” and have trouble with focus and coordination. Or, they may believe that drinking has no effect on their ability to drive safely. These people may have an alcohol abuse issue without realizing it.
Identifying warning signs
According to the American Addiction Centers, one DUI conviction indicates that a person made a mistake, but it is not necessarily a strong sign of addiction. However, repeat issues in addition to other warning signs can signal someone needs help.
Signs may include poor work performance, neglect of family and responsibilities and a focus on drinking.
Developing physical dependence
Someone with a serious drinking problem may develop a dependency, which means he or she must drink or suffer through withdrawal symptoms. Those around the person may notice he or she has to drink more alcohol to avoid physical issues, such as shaking and nausea. In serious cases, a person may have seizures from withdrawal.
If a person has multiple DUI convictions and shows other signs of dependency, then he or she will probably benefit from treatment. Safe detoxification from alcohol requires the care and supervision of a medical professional.
Treatment typically involves individual and group therapy to identify the underlying issues that led to the drinking problem and develop coping mechanisms for resisting alcohol in the future.
Seeking treatment may be a part of a drug court program that will help a person to mitigate the negative consequences of an arrest as well as a method of avoiding future legal trouble.