My mother knows more than any person on earth how to cut through the B.S. and make her point. When I was a child, she limited sugar in our household. Cake was only for special occasions, so one day I asked for a muffin for breakfast. My mom lets me know unequivocally that “muffins are cake.” It took her only three words to cut off all hope!
Choices We Make As Adults:
The best part of growing up is the ability to make decisions for oneself. Adults can choose to exercise, eat well, or eat “cake” every morning for breakfast. We can also choose to abuse alcohol or drugs. When it comes to substance abuse, my non-medical definition is simple.
You Have a Problem:
When a person calls my office with a second, third, or even fourth DUI arrest, one of the first questions I ask is what are they doing to address their problem with alcohol or drugs. Most people have a reasonable reaction and take my concern appropriately. Some, however, react negatively. They push back and say they do not have a problem.
Anyone can make one mistake and get arrested for DUI. I do not believe, and in fact, resist, that any person arrested for DUI automatically has a problem with alcohol or drugs. But when a person has multiple offenses, it is not a far stretch to assume they may have a problem. However, that does not mean I am medically diagnosing all multiple offenders as alcoholics or drug addicts.
My definition of a problem is when a person's livelihood, home life, or freedom is placed at risk by voluntary behavior. If you call my office for advice, I am going to do my best to help you with your case while also helping you address the underlying problem.
Why Do I Care?
Well, I care because it is in my client's best long-term interest. In the short-term, addressing the underlying issues also helps in resolving the DUI case. I need to be able to show the judge and prosecutor that my client is less likely to re-offend to negotiate a lesser punishment.
When I ask what a potential client is doing to do about their problem, always remember my only agenda is to seek the best possible personal and legal outcome.