According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Mississippi is one state that doesn’t require DUI offenders to submit to mandatory alcohol abuse assessments and to participate in treatment programs after a first-time DUI offense. However, repeat offenders may be required to take mandatory alcohol education classes and attend rehabilitation programs mandated by the state.

drug using teens at house party.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, court mandated alcohol treatment following a DUI conviction is one of the primary ways that individuals enter treatment for alcohol abuse. For instance, DUI criminal defense lawyers in Mississippi like Tangi A Carter, PLLC may make plea bargains for their clients by exchanging jail time sentencing for treatment.

Yet, are these programs effective interventions for alcohol problems? Do these programs actually help DUI offenders? Treatment success has been found to be highly dependent on whether a person is motivated to attend these programs. State coercion into these programs may not result in effective treatment or recovery for individuals who do suffer from alcohol addiction. Therapy that addresses motivational factors may be more effective, but not all states have the money to pay for this more individualized care for DUI offenders.

The reality is that DUI offenders are criminalized when they require rehabilitation and treatment. Criminal defense lawyers often find themselves fighting to keep clients out of jail when what their clients need are quality treatment and recovery programs.

According to the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, more individuals than ever are coerced into alcohol treatment after being charged with a DUI. The study found that lower-income offenders were often referred to treatment programs that were underfunded. Funding is a big barrier to proper treatment for many DUI offenders and alcohol users.

States sometimes substitute treatment for more serious and disruptive sanctions, including jail time, because of a lack of available resources. DUI offenders can often reduce their sentence or avoid jail time by agreeing to join drug rehabilitation programs. Yet, if society is to use a rehabilitation model, states and governments must invest more money and research into providing effective, safe, and adequate treatment programs. Many DUI offenders drink and drive because they suffer from a dependence to alcohol. These programs, if managed well, can possibly reduce the number of DUI drivers on the road.

While much research has been done on state-mandated drug programs, more research needs to be done on alcohol programs. A California study regarding state-mandated drug use treatment programs found that individuals who were coerced into treatment by the state and those who voluntarily sought treatment enjoyed similar abstinence rates following treatment. The determining factor that resulted in success was the length that treatment continued. Longer treatment has been proven to be more effective.

If you’re being charged with a DUI, you may be facing jail time in Mississippi and high fines. A skilled criminal defense law firm like can help you find help with available rehabilitation services and ensure that you get the treatment that you need and deserve. Too many people are criminalized and locked up when the reality is that they suffer from a condition that requires quality treatment. DUI drivers are more likely to become repeat offenders if the problem’s roots aren’t properly addressed.