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Alcohol use disorder and driving: A bad combination

Dependence on alcohol can lead to a drunk driving charge. People who are addicted to alcohol rely on it to function through many daily activities. Of course, adults with alcohol use disorder aren't legally allowed to consume alcohol and drive. Anyone stopped and found to be impaired will face criminal charges.

Individuals who drink should stay out of the driver's seat so that they don't face legal troubles. Alcohol impacts the decision-making process, which could make an impaired adult feel like they are able to drive safely when they really can't.

What is alcohol use disorder?

Alcohol use disorder, as defined in medical guides like the DSM and the ICD, includes a variety of conditions that can lead to serious problems. Alcoholism, alcohol dependence and binge drinking all fall under this broad umbrella.

Most of the time, the person with the problem needs to get help so they can find ways to stop abusing alcohol. For a person with a drinking problem, stopping the alcohol consumption can prove to be difficult. 

What kind of help is available?

One of the most important things to do is to address possible underlying factors that contribute to the problem. Some people with alcoholism will need to get mental health counseling but will also need to address the physical aspects of dependence. Alcohol withdrawal can have serious effects.

Behavioral therapy, support groups and other treatment can help addicted people get sober and remain that way. Practical help with transportation, like ride sharing and designated drivers, can also prevent driving while intoxicated.

Alcohol dependency is often a serious, longstanding problem. For persons facing drunk driving charges, addressing the criminal and civil aspects of the case is a near-term priority. 

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