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All Press Releases for December 06, 2013 »
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Alcohol abuse treatment may prevent high costs of repeated DUIs

Treatment programs can help those with drunk driving convictions more than punishing offenders.
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    December 06, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- When someone is convicted of drunk driving, he or she faces costly fines, as well as possible jail time and driver's license suspension. The consequences for a DUI go far beyond paying the fees and serving the time; a conviction is likely to stay on a person's driving record for years, and can even haunt a person for life if there are multiple convictions. Additionally, repeat drunk drivers may lose their right to drive permanently, and can affect the lives of their loved ones or other families, if someone is hurt in a drunk driving crash.

These are among the many reasons that tough drunk driving laws exist in every state in the country. However, laws vary from state to state. Some states focus on steep penalties for even first-time offenders, while other areas attempt to help and change a convicted drunk driver's behavior so he or she doesn't make the same choice again.

Pennsylvania DUI laws aim to treat, rather than harshly punish, first-time drunk driving offenders, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. The penalties for a first offense can include:
- Up to six months of probation.
- A $300 fine.
- Driving safety school.
- Alcohol treatment when ordered.

Drivers with a prior offense face stricter penalties that can include a 12-month driver's license suspension, up to six months in jail and up to a $2,500 fine. Drivers may also be required to install an ignition interlock device. The consequences for additional DUI convictions rise significantly, and are severe even for first-time offenders if the driver's blood alcohol content is high.

With the current laws, authorities hope to prevent more people from driving drunk, while helping them avoid the long-term consequences of drinking and driving. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism says that, according to studies, interventions and treatment programs that focus on alcohol abuse have a positive effect on reducing drunk driving and crashes related to alcohol. Driver's license suspensions and ignition interlock devices are also effective, suggesting that treatment may be a viable option.

Contacting an attorney

Many people who have been arrested for drunk driving show remorse and don't want to repeat their actions. Treatment programs can help, but some may not know where to turn. A judge can help someone accused of drunk driving get on the road to recovery and making smart choices; an experienced drunk driving defense attorney can ensure that a person is represented fairly in court during the process of recovering from alcohol problems.

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