How can this be happening? I’ve never gotten a speeding ticket, and now I’m being convicted for a DUI? I was just having a fun night out with friends. I didn’t even drink that much. I only had a few beers. This is worst nightmare of my life.

This situation happens more often than you would think. In 2016, over 7,000 drivers were arrested throughout Colorado for DUI’s.

A DUI is a very serious offense, and those found guilty find themselves facing many consequences:

  • Costly fines
  • A suspended or revoked license
  • Increased insurance premiums
  • Jail time

The fines you acquire when facing a DUI that avoids trial can cost over $7000, and if you do go to trial, can cost over $25,000.

The above consequences are well known, but many people are not aware of other consequences that those convicted of a DUI face. The events are enormously taxing not only financially, but emotionally and may lead to depression.

If you or a loved one is faced with a DUI, don’t panic.You will get through this, one step at a time. Here are some ways to cope:

  1. Hire an Attorney

After a DUI arrest you may find yourself emotionally fragile and in no condition to represent yourself in court. It is best to get an expert to represent you and help you navigate the next steps. A good lawyer can help reduce the emotional stress and reduce the sentence you receive.

  1. Get Support Through Friends and Family

Your friends and family may be upset with you but they will soon move beyond their anger and help you through this stressful time. You should not have to go this alone or in secret. It’s easy to become depressed and feel hopeless when faced with the ramifications of a DUI, so reaching out to your family and closest friends will help you feel better.

  1. Seek Out A Support Group

Consider joining a support group. These groups can help you sort out your feelings relating to the DUI. Groups such as AA Alcoholics Anonymous, as well as support groups following a DUI arrest exist and are very helpful.

  1. Avoid Risky Social Situations

If you find that in certain social situations you are prone to drinking in abundance, you should avoid them from here forward. Drinking, for many people, is a social activity, but if you’re having trouble maintaining your judgement in these situations you need to re-evaluate your actions and decisions. If those around you are not stepping up and letting you know that you are too drunk to drive, you should get help and avoid these types of social situations.

  1. Assess Your Social Circles

When you are out with people who encourage risky or irresponsible behaviours, you may have to evaluate your social circle. This can be hard, especially with family but you need to draw the line and let them know that the habits that you  developed while spending time with them are not good for you.

It’s important to let them know that if they knew you were too drunk to drive and didn’t stop you that they were also in the wrong. Your friends and family must let you know when you are not in a condition to drive. If they encourage you to drive while intoxicated, you should spend less time with them.

  1. Accept What Happened

You got a DUI, you are not dead. What has happened has happened and it’s time to accept it and move forward. You can move past this conviction. The best thing you can do is to vow that you will never make this mistake again and get help through counseling or rehab if needed.

  1. Get On With Life and Rebuild
You can go forward in life and move on after your DUI. You may find yourself in a predicament with regard to your suspended licence. But you will figure it out, take a bus, ride your bike or join a carpool. You will make a tough situation better. Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family for help. Everyone makes mistakes.