March 4, 2024

Many people fail to recognize the legal vulnerabilities to which excessive drinking exposes them. Everybody knows that substance abuse like alcoholism can have personal and health implications, but the legal consequences are comparatively undiscussed, beyond the most obvious examples.

Before calling a DUI lawyer for the first time, it is important for individuals who enjoy drinking to consider what might happen if that drinking should get out of control, or if a mishap should occur while drunk. Here are some examples.

DUI, Manslaughter, Etc. Everybody knows about the hazards of drunk driving, but this doesn’t stop thousands from doing it every day. A DUI can be devastating, not just to the individual who was caught by the police but to individuals hurt or killed during an accident that was the result of driving while drunk. Obviously cases like these will have legal ramifications as severe as the damage or tragedy incurred by the act, but these do not enumerate the legal consequences that can result in the long term. Loss of license, loss of authority at work, these and more can result of drinking while driving.

Professional Consequences. Many professions have contract clauses that forbid excessive drinking while on the job, or even at all. Professionals like doctors who may be called in at a moment’s notice can be in breach of contract should they show up after drinking, even if they haven’t made a visible mistake or hurt anyone. It’s easy for stressed professionals to turn to alcohol for a sense of comfort and calm, but this may come at the price of one’s job if the use of alcohol becomes excessive.

Personal Legal Consequences. Regular excessive use of alcohol is one of the most common issues used as a wedge between parents and their children during divorce. As alcohol often accompanies physical violence in the home, excessive drinking can obviously give way to domestic legal issues stemming from abuse, with or without a divorce in motion. At the end of the day, alcohol-dependent people tend to be unpredictable and sometimes destructive. This can put one at risk of losing rights as they pertain to the family, legally and likely emotionally as well.

Exacerbated Future Legal Issues. Of all of the crimes committed by people not otherwise characterized by criminal activity, alcohol related crimes are among the most common. Even for people without a criminal history, alcohol related crimes can be “Strike one”. If other legal issues follow in the short to long term, whatever the cause or context, this earlier issue can make the sentencing or other consequences more severe.

Alcoholism doesn’t offer the individual many legal advantages.While alcoholism can be approached as a public health issue (and it certainly is), it is still important for individuals to seek help to their problem, in order to (among other very important things) to minimize legal liability over their lifetime. Knowledge of legal consequences may not be the driving force that motivates someone to regulate their drinking better, but it will certainly help.