A conviction for DUI can shatter your life. You may have spent some time in jail. You could be facing thousands of dollars in fines. You may have to go DUI classes. You can lose your license; and even after you get it back, you may face the embarrassment of having an ignition interlock device installed in your car. The incident can take away not only your self-respect but also the respect of your family, your friends and your work colleagues.
So how do you get past a DUI conviction? What can you do to rebuild your life and get it back on track? You might want to extract insight–not from the experts—but rather from people who have lived this experience and who really understand what true recovery is going to take.
Life After DUI: Attempting to Start Over without Really Starting Over
The unnamed blogger behind the Here Every Cent Counts website has mostly talked about her financial struggles over the last decade or so. But she also blogged about her DUI arrest and its repercussions in her life. What makes her site so interesting is that she shares two post-DUI perspectives, one from six months after her arrest and the other three years later.
In the six-month post, the blogger talks about going to DUI school and her thoughts as she assesses her life going forward. She’s fairly honest in her self-appraisal. “I won’t get a second DUI, I promise myself, and I promise the world, but I also said I wouldn’t get a first. I think that sort of messes with your mind also… which might lead to the likelihood of people getting a second or third, even. But I refuse to be a statistic.”
Three years later, she sees that some good has come out of the experience. “Today I’m actually grateful for the woman who called 911 on me walking to my car that day. While I might have gotten home safe that night without hurting another person, that could have been a much uglier night. But what’s more – I clearly had a big problem, one that extended much broader than just my occasional alcohol binge to fight my anxiety and depression — and I needed help.”
It Does Get Better
Greg Taylor writes about the “disbelief, self-doubt, shame, anger and disappointment” that he experienced daily after his DUI arrest. He admits that he had no idea of how he would survive.
But once he accepted his responsibility for his DUI, and decided to make the best of things, he began to move forward. “I asked people for help. Friends helped me get to and from work, social events and other activities,” he recalls.
He has some advice for others in his situation. “Trust me it does get better with time. Exercise some patience, let time runs its course, ask people for help and you’ll get through this. It’s not the end of the world. Consider this an eye-opener.”
Getting Your Life Back on Track
Eric Rogell calls himself “The Bachelor Guy” and his website covers a variety of topics including gear, food, drink, style, entertainment and skills. His tagline is “because someone’s got to tell you these things.”
One of Rogell’s blogs deals with what guys should do post-DUI. “Get charged with driving under the influence, and you’re likely faced with a number of challenges including social stigma, emotional turmoil, legal difficulties, loss of your right to drive, loss of your job and more,” he writes.
One thing that he addresses that other bloggers don’t is the importance of complying with court orders. Whether your punishment involves house arrest, community service, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, suspended or revoked driver’s license, fines or jail, you can’t get past the DUI until you face those consequences, he says.
Life After DUI–Becoming a Better Person
Since this blogger posts his newest thoughts at the top of the page, when you get to this website you should scroll down to the bottom of the page, choose “3” and then go to the bottom of that page.
Reading the blogs in that sequence will allow you to follow the journey of this man from shortly after his DUI arrest to the first anniversary of his arrest in June 2016. Whether you’re just beginning to cope with the aftereffects of a DUI conviction or have been dealing with the fallout for some time, you’re likely to find some thoughts that resonate with you.
The blogger started his posts five days after police officers arrested him for DUI and he spent the night in jail. His motivation for starting the blog is simple: “I put myself in a position where I could have seriously, or worse, fatally, injured someone else. And that just is not something that I can ever — ever — do again.”
He talks about the guilt and remorse he has felt since his arrest, and he accepts that “The fact of the matter is that I did something bad, and as a result I am enduring the consequence of it.” He disagrees with lawyers who take the attitude that ‘bad things happen to good people.”
“A more apt slogan is, ‘Bad things happen to those people who get caught committing a bad act’,” he adds.
This blogger has a very positive attitude, although he is very upfront about the fact that getting through a DUI isn’t an easy process. “But through this stress, the actions I am taking, I think, are making me a better person. I certainly hope they are. And with each new event coming my way, I am attempting to keep a positive attitude. For the most part, I feel much better – so I have no reason to believe that these steps aren’t working,” he says.
A New Perspective
This blog provides the perspective of a college guy who got wrapped up in his school’s partying culture and ended up with an OWI–operating while intoxicated. He talks about how he used to fill the trunk of his car with alcohol when a big holiday or school event was coming up.
Things have changed since his OWI conviction—and the counseling that he sought after it occurred. He talks about how the experience has actually helped him straighten out his life. He’s saving a lot of money because he’s not buying alcohol and he’s getting better grades in school.
“Do I attribute my recent college success to my OWI? Not necessarily, but it definitely was a catalyst that helped me get some much-needed perspective, opened my eyes to some questionable habits and helped me change them,” he says.
Suggesting Coping Strategies
While the author of “Life After DUI—Ways to Cope” hasn’t gone through the experience of a DUI arrest herself, she does have some pretty helpful suggestions for coping. She covers the social ramifications of a DUI arrest, and talks about how support groups, therapy and family and friends can all be helpful in helping you get back on track.
She also suggests ways to avoid situations where you might drink and drive.
“The First 30 Days” is a website that promises “inspiration and expert advice for any change in your life.” The article entitled “How to Handle your First DUI” offers suggestions that range from taking the DUI seriously to seeking treatment.