For many people, being charged with a DUI is a wake-up call about their substance use problem. Driving under the influence endangers not only the driver, but all other people on the road. If you’ve been charged with a DUI, and you know you’re guilty, it’s important that you get the help you need. DUI charges can be life-altering. Many people faced with themselves want to know: Can you reduce your DUI charges by going to rehab?
The exact consequences for a DUI will vary from case to case. Different states have different penalty laws. In addition, there will be different criminal charges depending on the circumstances. A person who caused an accident with injuries will face more severe consequences than a person who failed a sobriety test at a normal road stop. Going to rehab can have positive effects on your DUI charge, but you should always consult with an attorney to see exactly what your options are.
How Rehab Can Help a DUI Charge
DUI charges carry serious potential consequences. In most cases, you will lose your driving privileges immediately upon being charged. The length of time you’ll lose these privileges will vary. In some states, your license will be revoked entirely. This means that after the revocation period, you will need to take your driver’s test again to get a new license.
Another factor in DUI charges is the number of prior offenses you have. If you’ve gotten a DUI charge before, you’ll face increased penalties. In some states, three DUIs will result in permanent revocation of your license. No matter whether this is your first offense or third, the best thing you can do for yourself is enroll in a rehabilitation program. This illustrates that you understand that you have a problem, and that you’re committed to doing something to change it.
When the charge is your first DUI offense, enrollment in a rehab program can help you avoid being sentenced to jail time. You’ll probably spend the night in jail on the night of your arrest, with an arraignment the following day. Your arraignment is when you’ll hear the formal charges against you. Your attorney should be present so they can help you understand the charges you’re facing, along with the best ways to combat them.
Sentencing for a DUI charge will typically involve some kind of counseling or rehabilitation program. The most minor offenses will usually have mandated outpatient counseling sessions at a state-approved treatment center. But enrolling in a rehabilitation program prior to sentencing can help in the following ways:
- It can reduce your potential for spending time in jail
- It can reduce the amount of time you lose your driving privileges or allow special driving privileges
- It can reduce fines or other damages you need to pay
Going to rehab shows that you recognize there’s a problem and that you’re willing to fix it. This illustrates to the court that you’re unlikely to be a repeat offender and that you’re taking responsibility for your actions. If a judge believes you’ve taken responsibility for your choices and taken steps to better yourself, they’re much more likely to be lenient with your consequences.
Some DUI offenders can receive special driving privileges, in which they’re allowed to drive to and from work or school. Others can have their driving privileges back as long as their vehicle has an interlock system installed, which measures their breath’s alcohol content before allowing the vehicle to start. Both of these potential options are more likely to be granted if the offender is enrolled in a rehab program.
If you have previous DUI convictions, you have a much greater chance of spending time in jail or losing your license permanently. Multiple DUI convictions illustrate to the court that you’re at a high risk for offending again in the future. Since judges are concerned with the safety of other people on the road, they’re more likely to level serious consequences against you.
When this is the case, enrolling in an inpatient treatment program is often the best thing you can do, especially if you haven’t had inpatient treatment before. Inpatient rehab programs provide safe, controlled environments where you can address your addiction. Enrollment shows the judge that you’re doing everything you can to prevent a potential relapse in the future.
Voluntarily enrolling in outpatient programs might also help, but inpatient treatment is highly recommended for people with multiple DUI offenses. Multiple DUI offenses are a sign of a serious problem that requires comprehensive intervention. If you’ve tried outpatient treatment and relapsed several times, this may be a sign that environmental factors are preventing you from overcoming your addiction. The controlled environment of an inpatient rehab center will help with that.
What Type of Rehab Program to Enroll In
The best type of program for any addict, regardless of their substance of choice and number of offenses, is an inpatient rehabilitation program. These programs generally last several weeks or months. They have the highest rate of success and are the best option to reduce your relapse potential.
If you can’t take time off work, comprehensive outpatient services are also helpful. An intensive outpatient program is a good option. These programs involve therapeutic services for several hours a day. They usually involve taking time off work, but they’re also significantly less expensive than inpatient treatment.
Outpatient services are ideal for first offenders with mild addictions. These services might include counseling, meeting with psychiatrists, and taking medications to stop physical substance cravings. Most DUI convictions will involve mandatory outpatient services.
Make sure any treatment center or facility you enroll in has certified employees and programs. You can talk to your lawyer about the resources available to treat your addiction. They’ll have advice about the best options to help your current case.
If you want to talk to someone about your rehab options, we have trained counselors available 24/7. Call 866-802-6848 for confidential, helpful information.