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Is a DUI arrest always indicative of a drinking problem?

On Behalf of | Nov 11, 2022 | Blog, Drunk Driving-DUI Charges

Illinois law prescribes severe penalties for those convicted of a DUI. While many people assume that driving under the influence is evidence of a serious drinking problem, this is not always the case. However, the court system may mandate screening and treatment for alcohol abuse even if the incident reflects a temporary lapse of judgment.

Assumptions following arrest

Though a drunk driving stop and a subsequent criminal charge may sometimes be the unfortunate result of faulty roadside sobriety testing or another factor, when a motorist is indeed found to have been operating a vehicle over the legal limit, there is often an implicit assumption made by the state that the individual has an issue with alcohol.

As such, when it comes to fulfilling the terms of a sentence on a DUI offense and eventually achieving restoration of driving privileges, courts often impose a range of diagnostic and rehabilitative requirements, including:

  • Alcohol use evaluation
  • Addiction treatment
  • Attendance at alcohol support group meetings
  • Psychological therapy
  • Inpatient detoxification

Assessing the need for help

Because of the potential for drunk drivers to inflict severe harm on innocent members of the public, the state tends to take the issue of alcoholism among offenders very seriously and stands ready to issue heavy DUI penalties and perhaps order formal treatment protocols. However, that is not to say that every individual stopped for a suspected DUI is indeed suffering from an addiction requiring extensive professional treatment.

It must always be remembered that DUI cases can and often are isolated events unlikely to ever be repeated by motorists who have learned a hard lesson. Even so, anyone who finds themselves facing a charge of this nature should expect to undergo substantial scrutiny to determine whether court-ordered interventions are needed to address an underlying battle with addiction and to thwart repeat offenses that put public safety at risk.