Effects of a DUI on the Family
In 2012, 29.1 million people admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol—that’s more than the population of Texas. Driving under the influence (DUI) not only leaves its footprint on U.S. roads, it also has a huge effect on homes and families. Before we more fully understand the physical, psychological, and emotional impacts of DUIs on families let us take a look at the numbers.
Understanding the larger scope of drunk driving in the U.S. can lead us to see its more abstract implications on society and on our families. Here are the best and worst states for drunk driving.
- On average, a drunk driver will drive 80 times under the influence before their first arrest.
- Every 53 minutes in America, someone is killed in a drunk driving crash. That equates to 27 drunk driving deaths every single day.
- Every 90 seconds, someone is injured by a drunk driving incident.
Effects on Job Stability and Employment Opportunities
Being accused, let alone convicted of a DUI can have a negative impact on your ability to find and maintain work. The combination of lost time (attending court hearings and legal meetings), the lack of reliable transportation (if your license is suspended), and the looming possibility of jail time in many cases can add up quickly. This cocktail of circumstances will make it difficult to keep work hours and maintain steady employment.
Convictions and jail time also make it more difficult to find work in the future. Background checks for certain jobs may disqualify the convicted from quality career paths. Spending more than a few months in jail can also leave a hole in your resume and work history. This can raise doubt for future employers.
The real impact can be felt at home. Children will see the stressful and psychological pressure mount. Spouses will feel the burden of time apart and the hit to the family budget. The parental responsibility to provide financially for their children could be put at risk.
Intense Situations for Children at an Early Age
Court hearings, jail time, conviction, suspended licenses, and alcohol abuse are all mature situations for young children who may not be capable of understanding the situation. And while a child may not understand what’s going on, they will remember it. The stress of financial and emotional turmoil can produce long-lasting memories.
Children who are exposed to these situations, especially repeatedly, will not be comfortable at home. Many children whose parents have confrontations with the law have trouble trusting authority figures in school and in the workplace.
Children exposed to a parent’s DUI and any associated alcoholism can often begin to drink illegally at an early age. They may find it difficult to break the destructive patterns set by their parents. Children are prone to follow examples they see at an early age. These learned patterns will determine the mindset and attitude they will take when exposed to alcohol and other substances in the future.
Negative Life Pattern for the Accused
Repeated DUI offenses can lead to negative life patterns. Those who are accused or convicted repeatedly may begin to believe that they are stuck in an unbreakable cycle, unable to correct certain behaviors in their life. Without the right legal and social support networks, an individual can find themselves in a seemingly impossible situation. Repeated DUIs can lead to bouts of depression, alcoholism, and other mental illnesses.
These are among the many negative effects that DUIs and alcoholism can have on families. Drunk driving is never worth the risk. Proactively planning and avoiding these situations is the best course of action. In the advent that you do find yourself or a love one suffering from a DUI, find the help you need to break out of the negative life cycle. The right attorney can often help you arrange court-ordered counseling that can bring peace to you and your family. Contact Bradley Corbett today to help you combat the effects and consequences of DUIs.
Photo by Lloyd Morgan / CC BY
Bradley Corbett is a criminal defense attorney in San Diego. He graduated from Brigham Young University in Provo Utah in 2004. Later he enrolled at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego where he participated in a prestigious internship program with the Los Angeles County Public Defender. Since then he has handled over 2,000 cases.