Being charged with operating while intoxicated (OWI) doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a problem with alcohol; however, the court may order mandatory alcohol treatment as part of your sentence. If you are currently facing a drunk-driving charge, you should talk to an experienced defense attorney about your potential punishment, including how OWI alcohol treatment may benefit you and your case.If you believe you may have a drinking problem, or are required to obtain alcohol treatment, you will first meet with a psychologist who will evaluate your drinking behavior. It is important to be very honest when answering the psychologists’ questions, as he or she has experience determining if an individual is lying or fabricating details about a drinking problem. You should also know that the psychologist understands the feelings of shame and embarrassment many people feel after a Michigan OWI arrest—it is his or her job to treat you with compassion and develop a treatment plan to help you, not hurt you.
The psychologist’s goal is to determine what kind of drinking problem, if any, you have. There are two main categories of alcohol-related problems: alcohol abuse and alcohol dependency. A person who abuses alcohol might not drink every day, but their drinking patterns can affect their employment, finances, and social life. Some people in this category are occasional or regular binge drinkers. Typical treatment for alcohol abuse may include AA meetings or individual treatment. In some cases, the psychologist may find that no additional treatment is needed.
Alcohol dependency includes the signs of alcohol abuse, but the sufferer has developed a high tolerance for alcohol and needs more to achieve a high. In addition, withdrawal signs may be present. The treatment for alcohol dependency typically includes inpatient treatment and/or detoxification to handle physical dependency.
Following the psychologist’s recommended course of treatment can help you show the court that you are serious about changing and that you understand the seriousness of your charge and would like to make amends. Treatment can also help you deal with any underlying issues that may have been causing problems in your life, which can lead to positive things. One of these positive things is a better outcome on your OWI case.