Given the preponderance of drivers who have caused drunk driving accidents in Florida and been convicted for multiple DUI offenses, this probably comes as no surprise, but a new study suggests that motorists who are convicted of a DUI offense are at a higher risk of a lifelong struggle with risky drinking habits.
The study, conducted by the Behavioral Health Research Center of the Southwest in Albuquerque, New Mexico, found that nearly half of the people who had been convicted of a DUI offense either continued to drink heavily, or had cut back or quit for awhile, but then went back to their old risky drinking behaviors. Not surprisingly, many of these people had high rates of alcohol or drug dependence or suffered from mental health problems.
Sandra C. Lapham, the study leader, said that the first DUI conviction is a “red flag” and that “it’s an opportunity to intervene.” She noted that court-mandated alcohol or drug dependence screening might be required for many first-time DUI offenders, but many can’t afford follow-up treatment or don’t believe they have a problem at all.
As reported in Reuters, Lapham said that it is a difficult problem with no easy answer, but that getting high-risk motorists into treatment at the time of the first DUI offense can go a long way toward protecting other drivers and pedestrians since many of those convicted are at a higher risk of being repeat offenders.
Keeping motorists and pedestrians safe on Florida’s roads and highways should be a top priority. If an impaired motorist has injured you or a loved one, you do have the right to seek compensation for medical bills and other damages. An Orlando drunk driving victim attorney at Farah & Farah will work tirelessly on your behalf to see that your legal rights are protected. Contact us at (800) 533-3555. The call and the consultation are free.