Functional Alcoholism and DUIs in Illinois

Alcoholism is a cruel disease that causes pain and suffering for many Illinois residents. Many of us know friends and loved ones who suffer from functional alcoholism. At Glasgow & Olsson, we are proud of the number of clients we have helped to get clean and sober. Sometimes an arrest can lead to getting the help that they need. We can help.

For example, a single mom who hides her alcoholism so well that many of her colleagues and friends would not know that she struggles with addiction at all. She is usually extremely responsible and orders a ride-share pickup after she drinks with friends. However, one night, she and her friend are out having some drinks with dinner. Her friend gets a phone call that her child is sick. They decide that they do not have time to wait for a ride-share, so they hop in her car and she drives her friend home. On the way, she sees flashing red lights in the rearview mirror and is devastated at the thought that she will be charged with a DUI for her mistake. A mistake that can affect her job, her children, and her freedom.

Functional Alcoholism is Common in Illinois

Millions of functional alcoholics live, work, and drive among us throughout the United States. A high functioning alcoholic is someone who meets the criteria of having a substance abuse disorder but who can still keep up appearances at work and at home. Some of the signs of high-functioning alcoholism include the following:

  • For women, consuming more than three drinks a day or seven drinks per week
  • For men, consuming four or more drinks per day or 14 drinks in a week
  • The person loses friendships or experiences relationship problems due to alcohol
  • The person needs alcohol in order to feel confident or to relax
  • The person drinks alcohol while alone or in the morning
  • The person denies drinking, gets angry when questioned, or hides the alcohol
  • The person’s drinking causes his or her loved ones to worry

Is Alcoholism a Disease?

There is a stigma surrounding high-functioning alcoholism. Some people want to blame the alcoholic instead of helping the person affected get well. Alcoholism is a disease that causes people to drink compulsively despite the negative consequences. High functioning alcoholics have an addiction and almost all of them require treatment to combat it. Many high-functioning alcoholics drink moderately throughout the day. That way, they do not become drunk enough to disrupt their work. Yet, if they stop drinking, they suffer severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms. In order to stop drinking, many functioning alcoholics need professional help.

Is High-Functioning Alcoholism a Defense to a DUI?

Suffering from the addition of alcoholism is not a legal defense to a DUI in Illinois. When prosecutors can prove that the elements of a DUI have been met, the defendant will face a conviction. The level of alcohol addiction is irrelevant. A DUI charge can change your life in many negative ways. Those charged with a DUI can use several different types of defenses, including improper field sobriety tests and inaccurate blood or breath tests.

If you are facing a DUI charge in Illinois after making one mistake, our lawyers can help. We understand that sometimes good people who are usually responsible when consuming alcohol can make mistakes. Some people need more treatment and less condemnation. Contact our Cook County DUI defense law firm today to schedule your initial consultation.

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