One out of every three people will be involved in a drunk driving accident at some point in their lifetimes.
And if you aren’t careful, you might be the person who causes it.
That’s why going to rehab after a DUI offense is so important. But depending on your circumstances, you might end up in jail instead.
You might be able to change that. Keep reading to learn whether or not you can go to DUI rehab instead of jail.
Can You Go to DUI Rehab Instead of Getting Jail Time?
There is no “one-size-fits-all” answer to this question. It depends on your personal situation and the state you live in.
For example, a judge will have to consider a number of things before sending you to rehab, including the following:
- Number of past DUI offenses (if relevant)
- Damage of the accident (injury, loss of life, property damage, etc.)
- Level of intoxication at the time of the arrest
- Whether you’ve already been to rehab before
A judge won’t always send you to rehab for a DUI. In fact, this is considered a more serious step if they believed alcoholism or drug dependency played a heavy part. If they don’t think dependency was a serious contribution, they might order you to attend AA meetings instead.
You’re more likely to get sent to rehab if any of these apply to you:
- You’ve had several DUIs
- You admit you’re addicted to drugs or alcohol
- Drugs and alcohol have impacted other parts of your life, such as work
- You have a record of past behavior that involves drugs and alcohol
- Past treatment hasn’t made a difference
But even if those things fit your case, a judge doesn’t have to send you to rehab. They could penalize you in a number of other ways instead.
Most DUI sentences don’t include any type of rehab. Some of the more common DUI penalties are:
- Suspension or revocation of your driver’s license
- Ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle
- Random drug and alcohol tests for a specific period of time
- Community service
- Jail time
Again, the exact penalty you can get for your DUI depends on your case and where you live. Regardless of the penalty, you should still check yourself into DUI rehab.
Why You Should Go to DUI Rehab Anyway
After a DUI, whether it’s your first or third, your main priority should be getting into rehab. Not only can rehab help you have a healthier, safer life, it can also make a big difference in court.
But Won’t It Hurt My Case?
Some people might worry that going to DUI rehab can hurt their case rather than help it, which can be true. After all, if you check yourself into DUI rehab, you’re basically admitting that you’re guilty.
But this is only a problem for a small number for DUI cases.
Most of the time, the court will already have proof that you were, in fact, intoxicated. Because of this, going to rehab won’t hurt your case in the long run.
How DUI Rehab Will Actually Help Your Case
For most people. going to DUI rehab will actually reflect positively on their case. It will show the judge that you know you have a problem, that you’re taking responsibility for it, and that you’re doing your best to fix it.
It doesn’t matter how many DUIs you have, rehab can always help in court.
Here’s a quick look at how rehab can make a difference.
For a First DUI…
Since the judge can see you’re already seeking treatment for your DUI, they’ll be less likely to hit you with jail time or other serious penalties.
For Multiple DUIs…
Even if you have several DUIs already, going to rehab will show the judge you’ve recognized the severity of the problem and want to turn your life around.
The judge might also be more lenient and let you off with less serious penalties. If your license was suspended, treatment may be able to help you get it back sooner than you would without rehab.
For a Felony DUI Charge…
Again, seeking treatment if you face a felony DUI charge can show the judge you’re finally taking action. It may help the judge decide to lessen your penalties. In some cases, rehab may even make the judge decide to reduce the charge to a non-felony offense.
Of course, you shouldn’t count on this. But DUI rehab sends a powerful message and can make a big impact in court.
How Soon Should You Enroll in DUI Rehab?
When you get arrested for a DUI, you’ll be taken to jail while they process your offense. This might mean you have to spend a night in jail.
Whether they let you out on bond or not, most people arrested for a DUI get out of jail the next day. You should find a rehab center right away!
As soon as you get home, you should start searching for DUI treatment in your area. Once you find it, contact the center as soon as possible.
If you delay, you might not get into rehab before your court date. Even worse, you might put yourself in a position where you’re driving while under the influence again.
Understanding Rehab and DUI
You can get sent to rehab if you’re arrested for a DUI, but that doesn’t mean you will. The judge might give you different penalties instead.
But regardless of the outcome, you should always check yourself into DUI rehab anyway. This can help your case and help you live a healthier lifestyle.
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