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What is the link between DUI and mental health problems?

On Behalf of | Jul 16, 2021 | DUI

Driving under the influence or DUI is a huge problem in Illinois. Every year, many people are arrested for drunk driving even if they don’t cause an accident or injuries to other people. There may be deeper reasons behind the problem such as a mental health issue.

What happens after you are arrested for DUI?

After being arrested for DUI, you are taken to the nearest jail or police station where your mugshot is taken and you are fingerprinted. After those things happen, the following occurs:

  • You appear in court: You will receive a ticket or summons telling you a date to appear in court to face your charges.
  • Loss of your driver’s license: You will lose your driver’s license if you are convicted of DUI. You may get a temporary license that lets you drive to work or school.
  • Fines: You will be required to pay a fine as part of your penalty for DUI.
  • Probation: If you don’t get any jail time, you will be required to serve probation.
  • Alcohol evaluation: You will have to undergo an alcohol evaluation through a program. A professional will evaluate you to determine if you have alcohol use disorder. You may also be required to attend an alcohol treatment program approved by the court.
  • Interlock ignition device: You will need an interlock ignition device installed on your vehicle. The device requires you to blow into it to determine if there’s alcohol on your breath.

Is there a relationship between DUI and mental health?

Whether you have been arrested for a first DUI or have a few arrests already, you may want to consider why you chose to drink and drive in the first place. It’s very common for people who face DUI charges to have been diagnosed with a mental illness. The following mental illnesses are commonly tied with individuals arrested and charged with DUI:

  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Major depression
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD

PTSD is very common to experience when you have already experienced a car crash related to drunk driving. You may experience symptoms such as difficulty sleeping, difficulty concentrating, nightmares, irritability, jumpiness, hostility and emotional numbness.

If you were diagnosed with PTSD, alcohol use disorder or any other mental illness and you have been charged with a DUI, you may want to seek help. Mental health services like counseling in either an individual, family or group setting can help. Rehab can also help.

An attorney may be able to help you if you have been charged with DUI. An attorney could possibly have the charges against you reduced.