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Should you admit you are an alcoholic because of a DUI?

Just because you are charged with DUI does not mean you are an "alcoholic". The term "alcoholic" itself is extremely vague and questionable. Some people who are charged with DUI type offences have extreme problems with alcohol, others do not. Either way, you ought to think twice before admitting an alcohol problem to the world as this can bring many unexpected and unintended consequences.

Why admitting you are an alcoholic may be something you'll later regret

Many individuals immediately attend AA meetings or admit their alcoholism after being charged. While AA uses the word “anonymous” in its name, they encourage their participants to be anything but anonymous by instructing them to admit their alcohol abuse to the world. While it is debatable whether admitting alcoholism has any positive impact on helping a person stop drinking, the negative effect it has on their personal, professional, and legal lives is clear.

Admitting you have an alcohol problem can have some extremely serious negative consequences. Here are some that people don't think about (or realize) before they take the plunge and start declaring themselves an "alcoholic". Consider such an admission may:

  1. be used by your ex to support taking away or limiting your custody/access/parenting rights of your children in court;
  2. be used as justification by the Childrens’ Aid Society to limit your freedoms or take your kids away;
  3. provide justification for your employer to fire you or prevent career advancement;
  4. cause professional societies to place limits on or suspend your career (as a dentist, doctor, lawyer, etc.);
  5. give drug companies reason deny you coverage and benefits;
  6. provide life insurance companies reason to deny coverage or benefits;
  7. damage your personal life and reputation and give you a negative label you can never take away;
  8. cause countries may deny you the ability to travel to them based on being a drunkard;
  9. help your insurance company sue you for hundreds of thousands of dollars in cases of a DUI with a payout to an injured third party;
  10. be used against you in court in future criminal, civil, and family law cases.

We encourage people to limit and reduce their alcohol consumption. Admitting to the world, however, that you are an alcoholic can create a negative label and stigma that cannot be reversed. This label can restrict and limit your current and future opportunities in several unexpected ways.

Remember, most people don’t have a problem with alcohol. It is in the greater interest of society to identify/label those who do, but it is not necessarily in your best interest. We hope that those who choose to make such an admission are well informed beforehand of the possible side effects and problems it may cause.

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