DUI and Mental Illness: New Studies Show Possible Link
Statistics have proven that at least 33 percent of the people who are arrested for a DUI will eventually become a repeat offender. This statistic is astounding to many people, especially when you consider the fact that just one DUI conviction is extremely expensive and can make it difficult to obtain future employment. Due to this, researchers decided to take a look at the potential link between mental illness and DUIs. The results could lead to a change in the way that repeat offenders are handled by the law.
What is the Link between DUIs and Mental Illness?
Researchers at the PIRE Behavioral Health Research Center of the Southwest conducted a 10 year study that took a close look at DUI offenders who had been arrested for the same crime at least twice. Almost 60 percent of the participants in this study had received treatment for bipolar disorder, major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder at some point during their life. Additionally, many of them were dealing with alcoholism or drug abuse.
How Can This Information Be Used to Reduce DUI’s?
Although it is likely that most states will not have the necessary funding to mandate a mental health evaluation for each DUI offender, it is important for lawmakers throughout the nation carefully consider making this an option. This could be especially beneficial for individuals who receive their second DUI. After all, if it can be conclusively determines that a repeat offender has an untreated mental health or substance abuse issue, they can be given the opportunity to receive treatment instead of being penalized with jail time.
What Are Some of the Factors That Cause Repeat Offenses?
Researchers have indicated for a long time that one of the major factors that can lead to a second or third DUI offense is the emotional and financial trauma that is caused by the first one. Although it can be difficult for many people to understand why someone would drown their sorrows about a DUI by getting drunk, it actually makes a lot more sense when you realize that so many of these individuals are already dealing with substance abuse or mental health issues.
Writer Melanie Fleury has witnessed family members attempt to mask a deeper issue with alcohol. These studies confirm what she has always suspected. With these family members living in Orlando, she searched http://www.thetixteam.com/ to learn more about what can be done legally when someone receives a DUI.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hey__paul/8106468654/