Managing the Fallout of a DUI on the Family

A DUI conviction can significantly affect family life. It’s not just the immediate impact of the offence, but the long term implications a conviction can have over the years to come. Sometimes separating from a partner with addiction problems can actually be what is best for the family. As the only sober parent in a family; financial and employment obligations may fall entirely on one person’s shoulders, which is a huge burden for anyone to bear.  

Putting problems behind you

Choosing to drive under the influence is a bad decision that can haunt a person and their family for years. The initial shock, concern and feelings of frustration that occur upon receiving the news of an offence can affect many people in a person’s life. Family members from small children, to partners and spouses; may struggle to get their head around how and why it happened. Extended family such as parents and grandparents, siblings and friends, may also take the news with difficulty.

People might feel that they have lost trust in the person and call their judgement into question. It can cause friction that even the closet of relationships can have trouble dealing with. A parent or guardian might feel unable to leave their children with a person that has addiction issues; and may withdraw or avoid contact altogether. This can be very painful for kids and adults alike. Acknowledging that a mistake has been made, and taking ownership of the issue, is the first step towards opening a dialogue and building up trust again.

Overcoming employment issues

A DUI conviction could mean that you lose your driver’s license, according to attorneys, Tait and Hall. If a person’s job involves driving, losing their license could have serious ramifications on the ability to continue working and financially supporting your family. If commuting to work is done by car, public transport may be the only alternative. There may also be carpool options in some areas. DUI convictions could also result in being sent to prison, so this may mean the loss of a job. Finding a job after serving jail time can be difficult, but there are organizations that support people into employment, that have served time in jail. The loss of a family’s mode of transport, or the much greater loss of having a parent and partner incarcerated in prison, can have serious negative effects on families for many years.

Getting the right support is key to overcoming addiction offences like a DUI. Substance abuse is more common than many realize, and some people may not even think they, or a loved one, even has a problem. Often a DUI is the culmination of years of substance abuse, and it brings to the surface problems that a family may have been dealing with internally for a long time. Open dialogue about a person’s addiction issues, and seeking support to sound it all out, are honest ways forward that can help overcome a DUI conviction and consign the problem to the past.

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