Driving Under the Influence: Understanding the Client

Driving Under the Influence: Understanding the Client

Alcoholism is why many people make wrong decisions every day and even become a cause of death.

It is estimated that in the United States alone, each year, 140,000 people die from alcohol-related causes. At this point, you can understand why driving under the influence (DUI) cases can become so frequent in a lawyer’s office. However, the frequency of these cases should not diminish the sensitivity and delicacy of this issue, so here, you can read what causes alcoholism in a person and better understand the problem your client is going through.

What Are the Factors That Push a Person to This Situation?

People drink alcohol for many different reasons. Some who become addicted to alcohol use it to treat anxiety and depression. Although it can help you ignore your problems in the short term, alcohol generally makes anxiety and depression worse.

It does this by interacting with chemicals called neurotransmitters in the brain, which naturally help fight depression and anxiety. Social factors such as affordability and availability of alcohol, peer or colleague pressure, and group buying rounds are thought to play a role in causing alcohol dependence.

Alcohol is a problem that affects adults, and young people, especially university students and graduates. According to a study made in 2015 in the United States, 21% of graduates in exercise have problems with the consumption of alcoholic beverages, which represents almost five times more than the range ingested by people who do not belong to this age range.

How Can Someone Overcome This Situation?

For a person to recognize that alcohol is harming their life is the first important step in diagnosis and successful treatment. Anyone who feels addicted to alcohol can see their GP. They will ask what their symptoms are and do an exam.

In this examination, the GP will ask the person about their drinking habits, feelings, and the effects on their life and well-being. A doctor may ask these questions to establish if someone is addicted to alcohol:

● Have you ever thought that you should drink less?

● Has it bothered you that people criticize you for drinking?

● Have you ever felt guilty after having a drink?

● Have you ever had a drink early in the morning to calm your nerves or eliminate the discomfort after getting drunk?

Suppose the person’s lifestyle, psychological or physical illness, or score on this questionnaire indicates that they may drink too much. In that case, their GP may refer them to specialized services for alcoholics. Services for alcoholics can be found almost everywhere. The GP may ask the person to attend one because it is an important step for them to be active and take control of their addiction.

Consequences of Alcoholism

The harmful consumption of alcohol presents as consequences a social and economic burden for society; it can also harm others, such as family, friends, co-workers, and even strangers. It is usually related to the development of mental and behavioral disorders, leading the person to become an alcoholic.

At the Family Level

The family is seriously affected by the existence of a person dependent on alcohol. Generally, there are enormous difficulties for all members since the alcoholic person disturbs the family environment, causing more conflicts, generating intrafamily violence (insults to the partner or aggression towards children), and a more distant relationship between parents and children. Violence can reach such a point that the person is denounced, leading to legal consequences.

At the Social Level

Serious problems of social coexistence are generated, increased accident rate, disturbance to neighbors, non-compliance with work and academic activities, the appearance of episodes of violence, and physical and mental aggression.

On an Emotional Level

Anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, irritability, suicidal ideation, feelings of hopelessness, guilt, and shame, among others.

What the Experts Advise

Although the treatment for problematic use of alcohol varies depending on each person, the most common procedures are detoxification, counseling, and integration into support groups. According to specialists, keeping a diary with the amount of alcohol you drink per day, the circumstances, and what it feels like to do so allows you to recognize consumption patterns consciously.

Avoiding going to places where they sell alcoholic beverages is another recommendation suggested by experts. The key is —according to them— to seek medical help in close circles, such as family and friends.

The Role of a Lawyer

As mentioned above, alcoholism can lead a person to make wrong decisions and mistakes, such as driving with a higher-than-allowed alcohol level in the body. This is when the person will seek the help of a lawyer capable of helping them cope with this scary episode. There are offices like Reep Law that represent people who have suffered this incident, and that is just what a person involved in a case of this type will look for. An attorney who understands their problem and who can assist them in case there is another type of issue involved besides DUI. 

The ideal lawyer will not only be able to defend their client aggressively but will also inform them about their rights and alert them about the legal consequences that they could suffer when driving while intoxicated and, even worse if they have a record and are arrested again. There are privileges and rights that a person could lose if they behave recklessly and do not respect the law, and this is what the client must understand and accept.


Knowing the factors that lead to alcoholism, what the symptoms are, and how this disease can affect a person’s life will allow the lawyer to understand better their client’s situation and the circumstances that led to that problem. When dealing with DUI cases, the lawyer will have the responsibility of communicating to their client what their rights are and what privileges they are at risk of losing. 

Throughout their career, a lawyer will always face difficult challenges, but they must always keep in mind that a client will see them as a solution to their problem, and that must be the motivation to work and fulfill their mission.

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