It can be a long road to “normalcy” after having a DUI. Driving under the influence in California is not taken lightly.
According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, In California in 2013, there were over 160 thousand arrests for DUI.
That is 651 drunk driving arrests for every 100 thousand drivers! California is trying to prevent this amount of drunk driving by laying down heavy fines and jail time.
Within this statistic, there are also fatalities and injuries. In 2014 there were almost 900 fatalities from Drunk Driving. There are not only physical injuries but mental ones as well. Including ones to yourself!
You could end up facing a huge financial burden throughout this unfortunate process. From paying legal fees, to losing a job, recovering from a DUI is not easy.
It is possible. People do it everyday.
Now, here is the silver lining… you can recoup after a DUI.
I will show you how.
To set things up and give a little perspective, let’s use one city for an example: Oakland, California.
Drunk driving arrests are prevalent in Oakland. Oakland has a higher crime rate than the California average and this does not exclude a DUI’s.
We all make mistakes, and fortunately there are many ways to make life normal again after something like being caught driving under the influence.
Let’s check out how Oakland residents can get back on their feet!
Now, this next part isn’t to scare you or deter you form regaining your life back. I’m hoping it will give healthy perspective of what a DUI can really cost you and how this could impact your life.
Here are a list of the penalties for a DUI in Oakland, CA:
These fees depend on the blood alcohol level and severity of the case.
- DUI assessment and fees- $1800- $2600
- 90 day driving restriction or 48 hour jail time
- Completion of a $500 recovery program (3 months if under .20 alcohol level, 9 months if over .20)
- Breathalyzer installed- $800
- Lawyer fees- $1500 for a plea. Lawyers charge by the hour and can vary in price.
- The average cost of a lawyer if you go to trial can be anywhere from $2,500 to $25,000!
- Here are a list of Lawyers in Oakland that handle DUI’s.
- A DUI can stay on your record for up to 10 years! It is also public record.
- Besides the legal part of a DUI, the emotional toll on yourself and also family and friends can be even more overwhelming.
OK, so now you are looking for those steps I promised.
Here you go…
Steps To Regaining Your Life
1- SR22 Insurance Oakland
What is SR22 Insurance?
SR22 Insurance is a type of car insurance one must attain after having your license suspended or revoked in any way. An SR22 filing can be done by your insurance company and is quite simple.
Getting the cheap SR22 insurance Oakland residents need is easy!
This piece of paper means your insurance company guarantees that you (as the driver) will have the minimum amount of liability auto insurance coverage.
The Department of Motor Vehicles of California requires this document. You will need this SR22 insurance document for up to 3 years.
The state of California also has a minimum requirement for all drivers:
- Bodily Injury Liability Limits: $30,000 per occurrence/ $15,000 per person
- Property Damage Liability Limits: $5,000 per occurrence
Is SR22 insurance more than regular insurance?
Here is what SR22 insurance will cost you and it won’t be an arm and a leg. Talking to a helpful insurance representative will not only ease your mind, but will give you a good idea of cost. Don’t be afraid to use these professionals, they deal with this sort of thing all of the time.
2- Take a Course
What are the DUI programs in Oakland, CA?
There are a few programs in the state of California for reducing the offenses placed against you. Some of these programs are mandatory.
- The Wet Reckless Program- is for those convicted of reckless driving. You must complete a 12 hour DUI program.
- First Offender Program- There are 3 month, 6 month or 9 month programs available including drug education and counseling.
- 18- Month Program- This is for second offenders. This program requires 12 hours drug education, 52 hours counseling, bi-weekly interviews and 6 hours of re-entry counseling.
- 30-Month Multiple Offender Program- This program has counseling, education and 300 hours of community service. It is more intense than the other types of programs because it is for someone who has had multiple DUI’s. Just to clarify, 30 months is 2.5 years!
These programs are a vital step to you and your community. Getting your finances in order is one thing, but figuring out why your DUI happened in the first place is also very important.
You may find other people in these courses who have been through the same circumstances as yourself. And that is gratifying.
You may find inspiration from their stories. It is hard to be hopeful after a situation such as getting a DUI.
Taking a course is not just mandatory in Oakland, it has a purpose. The state of California does not want second offenses. The state has these courses in order so that citizens have a chance to redeem themselves.
How do I make a plan for my life?
It will be imperative at this time in your life to surround yourself with family and friends who have your back. Make sure you weed out those around you who are negative and don’t understand your plan.
Having a plan for your life after a DUI can be crucial to regaining your job, family, friends, and normalcy.
- Lean on your family and friends and get them on the same page.
- Take a look at the friends you currently have an assess if they are still healthy for you and your life choices.
- Sit down with your spouse or a family member and set out your plan for the next year.
- Have your family hold you accountable.
- Ask for help if you need it and don’t feel ashamed- this is about rebounding, not digging up the past.
- Be open and honest with the ones surrounding you. Look at them as a resource for regaining happiness!
- Have a timeline for yourself and the goals you want to accomplish- no matter how small.
- And remember, you can do it! Believing in your plan is most important.
4-Seek Out A Support Group
What are the best support groups in Oakland?
Let’s take a look.
Family and friends may not be enough for you. You may need to rely on others who have gone through the same situation.
Look at it as more of a safe place to tell your story. Or maybe you just need to know that there are others out there who are tackling similar obstacles.
No matter the reason, support groups can be helpful.
Resources are always important and can serve you well.
There are many support groups and therapists on the Oakland area.
- AA- Alcoholics Anonymous. You may not think of yourself as being apart of this group but it has helped millions of people. Drinking and driving is a serious offense, so take it seriously!
- Occupational Health Services in Oakland is a great resource. They have multiple programs for recovery and training.
- Missioncouncil.org is a great program in the Oakland area with group sessions and outpatient programs.
- goodtherapy.org is a website where you can search for therapists in your area. Having someone outside of your family to talk to about the toll a DUI can have on the psyche is very useful.
- You can also ask family and friends to reach out in the community to find groups and programs. Word of mouth can be one of your best options for referrals.
5- Find A Hobby
How do I find a hobby in Oakland?
You may need a healthy distraction after the insurance and lawyers are taken care of.
Set a goal, or something to reach for in the future.
You might just need a distraction.
Re-evaluate why you are in this mess in the first place. Maybe it is because you were surrounding yourself with the wrong people. Maybe drinking was your hobby. Having a physical and mental outlet during this time will be very helpful.
Here is a list of amazing hobbies and events happening in Oakland, California.
- adult softball league
- fantasy football league
- bird watching
- adult soccer league
- bowling league
- board games
- learning to cook
- taking a class online
- martial arts
- learning an instrument
6- Accept Yourself Again
How do I recover from a DUI?
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
It is important to accept the situation that you are in, and to accept yourself afterwards. Surround yourself with people who also accept you.
Now, I am NOT saying that what happened wasn’t your fault. There is no reason for you to have a guilty conscience forever. If the state wants to give you a second chance, you should give yourself one as well.
Accept your circumstances and promise to never let it happen again.
If you do not accept yourself and what has happened, you could end up depressed or losing opportunities moving forward.
“The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself”
Keep going down the road you would like for yourself. Keep in mind that other people may not look at your quite the same.
Maybe the job you want is not going to happen right now.
Did a friendship go sour because of your DUI?
This is life.
Having a plan for your future is more important now than ever. Not only to ensure that this mistake never happens again, but to put this mistake behind you!
You must more on and rebuild.
This is the 6th step, not because it is less important than the others, but because it is what you should be thinking about as you go about your day.
Taking care of business first: insurance, lawyers, paperwork.
Taking care of yourself next: support, a plan, classes, rehabilitation.
“The hardest challenge is to be yourself in a world where everyone is trying to make you someone else.”
California residents are lucky to have laws in place that try to make driving here safer. Some people might not agree with the politics behind these laws. California is a leader in recovery and redemption for the civil rights of the people who live here. There is something to be said about that.
Finding the best cheap car insurance in California is going to be the easy part to this journey.
Post-DUI life may be a little harder. After reading these tips, you can find the confidence to move forward in a new and more successful way.
Life is too short to backtrack. All we can do is more forward.
If you are wondering how you can get your life back after a DUI, follow the links in this blog. It will take the time it takes to feel normal again.
Hope is a great motivator.
Here is to rebuilding you, in Oakland and beyond!