When people get arrested for DUI, they usually admit to their mistake. There are some, of course, who insist that they weren’t impaired, that they “only had one” or “just a couple,” and they were perfectly able to drive. But most people admit that they were caught fair and square, and deserve some sort of punishment – though not necessarily as much punishment as they received.
After admitting the mistake, a question remains – was it just a mistake? Or was it a sign of a larger alcohol problem?
It is for this reason that drunk drivers in Canada are subject to a mandatory alcohol education or treatment program after a DUI. Depending on your province and previous offenses, it could be a class with tips on organizing a designated driver, a program emphasizing the disastrous effects of drunk driving on society, or individualized treatment for alcohol abuse or dependency.
When you are assessed, the counselor will try to find out:
- How much and how often you drink
- Whether you experience hangovers or blackouts
- If drinking interferes with your job or personal relationships
- If you drink more than you did a few years ago
The answers to these questions help determine if you have an alcohol problem that needs treatment. Once that’s determined, the assessor will make a recommendation. This might involve treatment of some kind.In addition, depending on the province and previous offenses, an ignition interlock (car breathalyzer) might be required for a period to ensure compliance with DUI laws.
But the time to start figuring things out is before you have a DUI. If you drink a large amount, or have driven impaired or have considered doing so, check out the signs of alcoholism and figure out if you need to talk to a professional.
For most people, a DUI is a wake-up call, a sign that something needs to be done. But there’s no reason to wait for that call if you are concerned. The resources are out there to help, and the time to do it is before you endanger yourself or others by getting behind the wheel while impaired.