Driving Under The Influence

Old 09-22-2011, 11:08 PM
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What I would like to know is if a person gets two DUIs does that mean he is an alcoholic?
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Old 09-23-2011, 09:41 AM
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I have wondered about this. My AH stays late at his office every night having a few drinks and watching movies, then he drives the 1 mile home to his apartment. I'm sure that if he was pulled over, he'd be looking at a DUI. I have wondered if I should call the police and give them a heads up about this. Would they try to catch him?
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Old 09-23-2011, 09:47 AM
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Breathalyzers are not fool proof. If someone really wants to drive impaired, they will find a way. The breathalyzer does not measure drug use & I have even heard stories of the drunk having their kids and/or local bartender blow into the device to start the car!
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Old 09-23-2011, 09:57 AM
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I am satisfied with our breathalyzer. My AH doesn't go to bars (he's a straight to work and straight home again kind of guy). My kids are older (20s) and would not blow into it for him. The type he has needs to be blown into immediately before starting the engine and also at random times while the car is being driven. It detects if someone tries to disable it and this shows on the log that issues every couple of months.

I am sure someone can figure out a way around it if they want to and are handy - this just isn't my AH. I am fairly confident that my AH knows this is a boundry that I aim to keep and he is unwilling to cross it, so far.

If he can't start his car, he doesn't get my keys, he doesn't get a ride, and I won't do the errands he wanted to do. There has been mornings when he couldn't start his car to go to work because of how much was still in his system from the night before. That made no difference. He had to figure out what to do. (So......he now knows how much to drink and when to stop drinking the night before in order to start his car the next morning. Sheesh!)

For me, this situation works. For now. I don't worry about him drunk driving.
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Old 09-23-2011, 10:11 AM
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well, IMO you cannot control an alcoholic in any way. The alcoholic will resent you for setting up "roadblocks" to drinking. Some states have done studies and it has shown that mandatory breathalyzer devices do not lower DUI arrests. It is not the answer to solving the DUI puzzle. Legal consequences do not always change an alcoholics/addicts behavior.
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Old 09-23-2011, 10:14 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Justfor1 View Post
well, IMO you cannot control an alcoholic in any way. The alcoholic will resent you for setting up "roadblocks" to drinking. Some states have done studies and it has shown that mandatory breathalyzer devices do not lower DUI arrests. It is not the answer to solving the DUI puzzle. Legal consequences do not always change an alcoholics/addicts behavior.
They may not work for the big picture, but if somewhere somehow the breathalyzer in one person's car saves just one person's life, it's still worth it.
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Old 09-23-2011, 10:59 AM
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IMO I am not controlling his drinking, I am controlling whether our family's cars will be used in a DUI and trying to limit my legal responsibility in the case of him getting a DUI or worse, harming someone else. The only other way I know of doing this is divorce, and I am not there (yet?).

I know legal consequences do not change their behaviour. He had driven drunk. He picked me up from work and I did not immediately realize he had been drinking. Until that point I believed he would not drive drunk. Well, he was so drunk he went by our house and went a good two more blocks without realizing it.

The worry of what he could do driving drunk, for me, was worse than the worry about him being alcoholic, including what I know about me and kids being hurt/codependent. I was terrified he could hurt/kill some innocent people as well as himself.

I am sure he resents the breathalzyer being on his car. I am sure, too, he would hurt terribly if he harmed someone else. I am sure he would also resent it if I let him leave driving drunk and then called the police on him.

If he wants to drink and get around he could always do public transportation. He chooses not to and to control his drinking so he can drive when he feels he needs to, mainly just to and from work and the odd errand Saturday morning. We don't pick up the slack if he can't start his car, because we feel that's a consequence of drinking that he should face.

For me, and my kids agree with this situation, the breathalyzer is the best option we have to prevent his drunk driving and for us, this works. I/we can sleep nights.

Anyways....take what you want and leave the rest. I've gone on too long about this so I'm jumping off my soap box. (Now, there's a phrase that dates me!)
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Old 09-24-2011, 07:13 AM
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To answer the question about whether a DUI means someone's an alcoholic: it means someone is either an alcoholic or really really dumb. I know it used to be the case that people drove drunk all the time, but really, my generation and younger know all about it. Whenever I go out the person driving is the one who doesn't drink--doesn't everyone do it that way?

My AH drove drunk once. I didn't find out about it till afterwards, but I told him I'd call the police on him if it happened again. I also took away the car keys whenever he binged from there on out. He got whiny about it: "I'm not going to do it again! I stay away from the car when I'm drunk!" but I told him I wasn't about to have some dead kid on my conscience-or get sued.
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Old 09-24-2011, 07:16 AM
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A friend of mine had her husband arrested for DUI. I've never seen him drink too much, who knows what was going on there. She usually has good judgement but in this instance she's got herself all angry at the "police state" and all defensive of her husband. I gently said, "Okay, but no one drives drunk anymore, what was he thinking?" and she got defensive. We're still friendly, but she doesn't mention it. Hey-ho. Hope things turn out okay for them.
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Old 09-24-2011, 09:14 AM
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Agreed, a car can be a lethal weapon in the hands of a drunk.
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Old 07-27-2013, 04:07 AM
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When my friend handed the cop his grocery list instead of his drivers license, the cop told him to move over and let his passenger drive.
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Old 07-27-2013, 07:21 AM
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I always liken it to this: if you saw someone waving a loaded gun in a mall full of innocent people, would you call the police?
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Old 07-27-2013, 12:28 PM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by lillamy View Post
If you choose to live with a person who chooses to commit a crime, you get to suffer the consequences, too.
Lillamy, I have to respectfully disagree w/you here. My AH drank and drove drunk for years w/o my knowledge. He would secretly drink some here, then leave for a club meeting he attends once a month and he would drink in his vehicle on the way, take breaks at the meeting to drink and then drive home. Now, had he been busted, I'm not sure why I would deserve to be punished for this when I had no clue it was going on.

Also, if someone finds out his/her spouse is driving drunk, should an immediate divorce occur? B/c otherwise, as the spouse, how would you protect yourself from those legal consequences? And what about the kids, if any? How are THEY responsible for this? Not sure they deserve to be punished along w/the A.

I understand that you feel very strongly about this and maybe responded emotionally. I absolutely do not mean to downplay the seriousness of drunk driving; I'm just saying that THE OFFENDER should bear the burden, not the family. To say that the family of an A is necessarily making some kind of choice just by being married to or related to an A who is committing a crime doesn't sit right w/me.
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Old 07-27-2013, 12:38 PM
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Honeypig - when you're married to an alcoholic you bear the consequences of their alcoholism every day. If you don't report them when you know they're driving drunk, you're an accomplice. If you don't report them because you're more concerned about the financial fallout for your family than your spouse potentially killing innocent people, even more so. That is an immoral choice, in my eyes.

Obviously, if you don't know your spouse is driving drunk you can't report them.

But saying the consequences should fall only on the addict is not realistic. The choices of an addict affects your family every day, financially too. I was regularly yelled at for spending too much money on groceries - but there was always a credit card available for booze. By staying, I made the choice to suffer the consequences of his choices.

So should you immediately divorce a spouse who gets a DUI? I don't know. It's up to you. And that was sort of my point: if you make the choice to stay with an alcoholic, you also will suffer the consequences of that choice. As I see it, it's not a matter of whether it's fair - it's a matter of fact.
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Old 07-27-2013, 12:46 PM
  # 35 (permalink)  
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I see what you are saying, Lillamy, but I think that saying that the family DESERVES those consequences is a bit unrealistic and unfair also. Didn't Cause it, can't Control it and can't Cure it, right? Also may not be able to just file for divorce the next day and pick up and leave. The family members are not criminals just b/c they are part of an A's household.

Dropping this, as I don't believe we are going to see eye to eye on this. Thanks for your clarifications.
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Old 07-27-2013, 02:16 PM
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lillamy is correct, IMO. Whether it's "fair" that the family suffers consequences as a result of living with an alcoholic, the fact is that they DO.

Her response came in the context of someone's suggestion that you should not report your spouse's driving drunk BECAUSE of those consequences. The thing is, let's say you don't report it because of the potential financial consequences (legal fees, possible jail time, possible job loss--depending on job, etc.). They could still wind up (a) getting arrested anyway with the SAME consequences and/or (b) killing or badly injuring themselves or someone else--which might result in prison time, not to mention potentially devastating financial damages as a result of a civil lawsuit. THOSE consequences affect the family, too, don't they? And potentially MUCH more severely.

The fact is, alcoholics wreak havoc everywhere they go. Families DO get damaged. The consequences of a DUI are mild compared to what COULD happen.

When you don't know someone is an alcoholic, obviously you cannot do anything about it. But every day any of us stays with an active alcoholic, we are rolling the dice. Bad stuff may happen--bad stuff that will affect us and our children. It doesn't mean we "deserve" it. But it is a risk that we take.
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Old 07-27-2013, 02:35 PM
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Okay folks, please notice that the original question is from 2011. Please post only your personal experience with the original question. If you do not have personal experience with the original question then kindly do not post. If you are not going to reply to the original poster, then kindly do not post.

There are abundant other threads where you may have personal experience, and where your input would be useful.

This thread is now closed.

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