It's no secret that driving under the influence continues to be a major crisis in America. In fact, each day, people drive drunk almost 300,000 times, but fewer than 4,000 are arrested. If a friend of yours recently received criminal charges or was convicted of DUI, there are many steps you can take to help them through the aftermath and assist them with recovery. Here's part one of our guide to supporting a friend after a recent DUI conviction.
If your friend has any sense of self-reflection, there's a good chance they already realize the gravity of their situation, especially if innocent people were injured or killed in the accident. Instead of adding on to the criticism they're already receiving, reach out to them to let them know that they're still a good person, despite their mistake. Of course, this doesn't justify their actions, but hearing this gentle message from a friend can help them cope and build up their confidence again.
Part of expressing love and support is encouraging your friend to take actions in the future to prevent any more instances of getting behind the wheel when intoxicated. If you go out with your friend, be 100% sure that you have a safe ride home. Do not, under any circumstances, give your friend the 'benefit of the doubt' thinking that they're unlikely to make the same mistake again. We already know that alcohol impairs not just motor skills but decision-making abilities as well, and it can be easier than you think for your friend to have over-inflated confidence because they've gone through the process before and 'won't let it happen again.'
Ultimately, getting a DUI conviction is never easy, and taking these steps can often be more helpful than you may think in helping your friend cope. Keep an eye out for the next post, where we'll discuss more ways to help your friend through their conviction. For more information about DUI lawyers, contact Rhett Bernstein, the DUI law firm that has its clients best interests in mind.