Moving forward as a family following a DUI

Less than a year ago, the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) adopted an advanced breathalyser in an attempt to step up the battle against driving under the influence on Kenyan roads. From January to August, 2017, over 1,762 people died in road crashes, with 80% of accidents being attributable to human behavior. If you have been convicted of a DUI and you are worried about the effect it might have on your family life, fear not; obstacles can always be viewed as a positive reason to grow, and with the support of those you love, you can weather the storm until you are able to drive again.

Adapting to New Circumstances

Under the Traffic Act of the Republic of Kenya, any person convicted of a DUI is liable to a fine or National Transport and Safety Authorityfor no longer than two years. Regardless of the punishment applied, conviction means disqualification from driving for a minimum of 12 months. If you are a parent who takes your children to school, goes grocery shopping etc., you will need to find new ways to fulfil your obligations. You may need to work out public transport connections that will get your kids to school and ensure you are on time for work. Alternatively, your spouse or family members can be of help in terms of getting children to work and taking them to extra-curricular activities.

Do You Need Help?

Sometimes, a DUI is a one-off event. At other times, it is indicative of alcohol misuse or abuse. Do you find that when you drink, you are unable to take reasoned decisions (such as taking a taxi home or organizing routes home with non-drinking friends)? Are you drinking more than you want to or craving alcohol when you are not drinking? Are you spending a substantial amount of money on alcohol, or behaving differently after drinking? If so, you may benefit from professional therapy or from attending meetings at Alcoholics Anonymous in Kenya. The latter is a fellowship of men and women who share their experiences, strengths, and hopes, to solve their common issues and to help others in alcoholism recovery.

Obtaining Legal Help

Because a DUI can have such a big effect on your daily routine and family obligations, it is important to obtain sound legal advice. As noted by Gilbert DUI Lawyer , “If unrepresented, seeking dismissal or reduction of your charges is difficult and quite improbable.” Sometimes, your case can be fully dismissed, depending on how your case was handled by the officers involved and the extent to which your rights were respected.

Honesty is the Best Policy

Some parents might be reticent to tell younger children about a DUI. When children are capable of reasoned understanding and they hear parents talking about the matter, however, taking an open, honest approach can work. Children learn above all by example; by discussing what happened and the effects your actions had, children can better comprehend the concept of actions and consequences. Parents don’t have to be perfect; they just have to demonstrate an interest in self-improvement and growth, and a commitment to honesty.

If you have a DUI and you have to take a break from driving, try to see the situation in as positive a light as possible. Get fitter by walking to work and other necessary spots, talk with your kids about the importance of being responsible, and look forward to driving once again with a new appreciation of the value of safety on the road.

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