Enduring an arrest for any reason is stressful. However, having an arrest record for a DUI is particularly stressful. One reason is that it usually accounts for a person’s first arrest. The implications, consequences, and outcome of a DUI arrest and can case weigh heavy on a person’s mind.
Being stressed is only going to make the whole process a lot more difficult. It can also end up causing a ‘snowball effect’ in which you’ll see other areas of your life suffering. For example, you may not sleep well or experience reduced performance at work. Also, relationships with loved ones may begin to break down, along with some other negative effects.
So, recognizing that you’re stressed over the DUI arrest and doing something about it is essential. Identifying your stress is the first step towards getting past this roadblock and moving forward in a positive manner.
How a DUI Can Affect Your Mental Health
If law enforcement officers arrest you for a DUI, the most likely punishments you face include one of the following:
- Jail time
- Suspended driving license
- Various fines
- Driving restrictions like an ignition interlocking device
Each of these punishments can cause their own stress-related problems.
No one wants to think about jail time. The knock-on effect is possibly losing your job, the stress on family relationships, having a criminal record, and so on.
You probably depend on your car to get to work and back and use it several times a day. Worrying about how you’re going to get about without a car is stressful.
You are almost certainly going to have to pay some court costs and punitive fines. This can total several thousand dollars in some states. Of course, the unexpected cost of a fine is going to stress out most people.
If you don’t lose your driving license, it’s common to have an ignition interlocking device fitted to your vehicle. This device checks your alcohol levels before allowing your car to start. An individual literally must blow into a tube for the car to read his or her alcohol level. While this means you can at least drive and get around, it carries a stigma and a constant reminder that you have a DUI arrest hanging over your head.
All these punishments can cause considerable stress, which can lead to some serious health issues unless you do something about it.
Ways to Deal with the Stress of a DUI
The main reason for stress after a DUI conviction due to the uncertainty of the possible outcome. In other words, people do not know the laws well enough to understand the coming consequences. People often wonder:
- What are the penalties are for a DUI?
- What is going to happen next?
- How much of an impact will this have on my life?
If it’s their first time in jail, the stress compounds. One of the best ways to reduce stress is to empower yourself with knowledge. Read through your state’s laws to get an idea of what to expect as a result of your DUI arrest. It will go a long way to helping settle your worries.
It’s worth going over the worst possible outcomes, even knowing that they are very unlikely. So, nothing you hear brought up before or during your trial will come as a surprise. For example, there are standard penalties depending on the amount of alcohol was in your system. But additional penalties may apply for those with several violations within 25 years, or other charges for alcohol-related misdemeanors.
You can break down the process into a few steps to make understanding the possible outcomes a lot easier to process and reduce the stress of what may happen as much as possible.
Prepare for Your Trial and Sentencing
If you go to trial, it is the point where anxiety and stress are at their peak for most people. Why? Because this is where you’re going to discover your fate.
To minimize your stress as much as possible, you need to be as prepared as possible. An experienced DUI lawyer can talk you through all the steps and what you need to be aware of. Don’t be afraid to ask him or her questions, no matter how trivial you think they are.
Speak with an Attorney for More Information
The first step is to speak with an attorney. He or she will be able to answer any questions you have, give you the best possible advice of what to do next, and hopefully reassure you that everything is going to be just fine.
New York DUI attorney Troy A. Smith can do a lot to take the ‘weight’ off your shoulders. He and his legal team can inform you when and where you need to appear next, what you need to bring, and your options in general.