Driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) can change lives. Not only is your life potentially in danger, so are the lives of others who may also be on the roads. You know that’s not anything you ever want to happen. Perhaps you’re asking if there is help for you or if you need to go to alcohol rehab for DWI.
The answer is that there’s not only help, but there’s hope. Ocean Hills Recovery wants to work with you to equip you today.
The Difference Between DWI and DUI In California
Often you’ll hear the terms DWI and DUI used interchangeably, typically to describe someone driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Different states have different definitions of the terms. In California, several state codes dictate what you can be charged with if you are found using drugs or alcohol (or both) while driving. (1) If you have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher, you can be additionally charged under a different code and with different penalties. (2)
In some states, the term DUI is a lesser charge than DWI. Those states use blood alcohol content levels to determine whether or not you’re intoxicated.
In California, law enforcement officials typically consider driving under the influence, whether of drugs or alcohol, a DWI.
DUI And DWI In California: What Does The Law Say?
In every state in the country and the District of Columbia, your first offense with driving while under the influence or driving while intoxicated is a misdemeanor. This means you may receive a jail sentence of up to six months. Some states, however, put stricter penalties on DUI and DWI charges.
California has some of the more stringent laws regarding DUI and DWI in the country (3). A first offense (that doesn’t involve any bodily injury) is punishable by up to $2,000 in fines and fees. You could also spend 48 hours in jail and several months with your license suspended. You may even be required to complete an alcohol education program.
Additional charges and arrests can result in sentencing up to 16 months in state prison and a required 30-month alcohol treatment program. As well, you can be fined and assessed up to $18,000.
California also has a zero-tolerance law when it comes to those under 21 consuming alcohol. If you’re under the age of 21 and found to have any alcohol in your system, you can face jail time, lose your license, and have to pay a fine if convicted.
DUI And DWI Statistics In California: What The Numbers Say
The stiff penalties California carries for DUI and DWI offenses are a direct result of the unfortunate statistics that California has when it comes to drunk driving incidents. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety for 2017 (4), drunk driving fatalities increased by more than 16% in 2016 when compared to 2015. These fatalities involved drivers who had blood alcohol concentrations of .08 or more. In 2016 alone, 1,059 deaths were related to DWI incidents.
Deaths that come from DUI or DWI incidents carry much stiffer penalties. They are all considered felonies with various charges and penalties applicable.
Benefits Of Alcohol Rehab For DWI
Most judges in California will not sentence you to alcohol rehab for DWI. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t consider alcohol rehab for DWI or DUI offenses.
In many states, judges look favorably on you if you enter an alcohol rehab program because it shows your commitment to making changes in your life. While getting a DWI doesn’t necessarily mean you’re an alcoholic, it is one of the signs you may be dependent upon alcohol or other substances. Judges look at your commitment to a rehabilitation program as a commitment to bettering yourself when they’re assessing your case.
It may also reduce the time your license is suspended, particularly in California, where it’s automatically revoked upon being charged with DUI or DWI.
Alcohol Rehab For DWI: Finding Yourself
Most importantly, looking for alcohol rehab for DWI can help you get your life back. Everyone makes mistakes; they don’t have to define the rest of your life. Recovery from alcohol dependence can be so much more than help in the courtroom. When you consider alcohol rehab from Ocean Hills Recovery, you’ll be taking steps to build your future free of alcohol dependency and abuse. Their program lengths vary depending on your specific needs. Ocean Hills offers Collaborative Recovery so you can live a rewarding and sober life—guilt-free.
There’s no shame in needing help. Ocean Hills wants to walk with you as you detox and take a journey through 12 steps to freedom. You don’t have to struggle with the guilt of a DWI or DUI anymore. Ocean Hills will help you as you find yourself again. Contact us today and take the first steps to your sober life.
About the author:
Nicole earned her doctoral degree in Psychology with an emphasis on marriage and family therapy at California School of Professional Psychology. Her doctoral thesis was a grounded theory study exploring the role of alienation and connectedness in the life course of addiction. She specializes in treating addiction and trauma. She is certified in DBT and EMDR, two of the most highly regarded evidence-based methods in psychotherapy. Dr. Doss is a strong LGBT advocate and provides open and affirming support to her LGBT clients.
Dr. Doss’s earlier education included graduating cum laude from the University of California, Irvine in June of 2007 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. While there, she received honors recognition by Psi Chi and Golden Key honor societies.
Nicole has been working with alcoholics and addicts in our California drug and alcohol rehab center as an advisor and counselor for many years. She is passionate about providing quality counseling and care to her clients. Her main focus is on integrating the 12 Step and disease models of addiction with experiential therapeutic theory. She is married to Greg; they have two adorable sons together and an energetic yellow Labrador Retriever.