Skip to main content

Why are all individuals charges with dwi's assumed to be alcoholics and treated by the system as such?

Detroit, MI |

Medical eval & intervention for other illnesses (such as undiagonosed Adult ADHD) could be successful and help avoid repeat offenders. Extenuating circumstances need to be considered instead of the ruination of a family, a life, of holding onto a job or any chance of affording appropriate medical so many cases assumptions are made and bored court paid defenders are just showing up with no intention of doing anything other then the bare minimum. Only the wealthy can afford the expensive legal defense to bypass the status quo.

Attorney Answers 6

  1. This appears to be more of a rant resulting from frustration than a true question. Regardless, most states require evaluations after even a first DUI to determine if there is a problem. There is a pretty good chance that if you get a DUI, you have a problem. Once you have received multiple DUIs, it is a virtual certainty.

    I am assuming that this is a first. I am also uncertain why you are saying that you are being treated as an alcoholic. Please clarify.

  2. Sorry that you've had such a frustrating experience. Many court appointed lawyers are excellent and can provide very good legal representation. Not everyone who is charged with a first offense is considered to have an alcohol problem but some judges believe this to be true. A good attorney, whether retained or appointed, can often educate the court when there is a circumstance of an isolated incident.


    Mr. Loren Dickstein, Esq.
    2000 Town Center, Ste. 2350
    Southfield, MI 48075
    (248) 263-6800 - Fax: (248) 357-1371
    National Super Lawyer
    Avvo Rated: 10.0 Superb
    Martindale Rated: Preeminent - AV

  3. I'm sure a lot of people could respond to this post and go on about the politics of drinking and driving, MADD, and other interest groups. DUI is a major money maker for the courts, police, state, testing groups, etc.

    They relate the testing to the offense under the bond conditions.

  4. Most judges in Michigan attend various judicial seminars to help them with all of the skills they need to perform the role of judge. Which includes not only the skills needed for management of trials, but also the skills needed to impose effective sentences on those who are guilty. Effective sentences cover a broad range of goals: punishment, rehabilitation of the individual, and protection of society, for example. From talking with various judges who are regularly required to sentence persons guilty of DUI (actually now known as OWI in Michigan), I understand that at these judicial seminars on OWI, they've received information that "statistically" any person convicted of OWI has anywhere from a 70% to 90% likelihood of having a problem with alcohol. AS another contributor indicated, if a person has a second conviction of OWI, it is virtually certain that there is a problem with alcohol. This information is regarded by most judges as a reality, which is often confirmed by their experiences as a judge. I think most of the other issues you raise, though they may be valid, would be regarded by most judges as an example of "denial" on your part, and rather than persuading the judge to treat you differently from other OWI cases, would convince him or her of the accuracy of the statistical information.

  5. At the time of sentencing, the court has the goals of protecting the public, discouraging repeat offenses by the same offender, discouraging other people from committing the same offense and rehabilitation. In DUI cases, courts often rely on certified alcohol education programs, medical personal and inpatient alcohol education programs to help the courts achieve these goals. As a general rule, the court doesn't automatically assume that every person who gets charged with a DUI is an alcoholic. Courts know that a first time offender can commit a DUI offense out of ignorance: by not knowing the effects of alcohol and how alcohol impacts the ability to drive. Courts know that even a high breath test reading can be due to ignorance and inexperience with alcohol. Courts know that even the term "alcoholism" means different things to different people. However, some facts, particular to a case, may strongly suggest that a serious alcohol problem exists. For example, a driver who is stopped with a very high breath test score who is still coherent would probably suggest to a court that the driver has a high tolerance for alcohol. Such a high tolerance generally means that the person obtained that tolerance by drinking over a long period time. The cases that you've observed, in which a court appears to be jumping to the conclusion that a person has an alcohol problem, may include such facts.

  6. Because Mothers Against Drunk Driving is big business and that institutional belief sends a lot of people into counselling where insurance dollars are used to line the pockets of agencies closely aligned with and often funded by MADD

Criminal defense topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics