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Does dui ever justify divorce?

Author: Debbie Nguyen
Published: Nov 24 2013

The repercussions of a DUI can be life altering for families. The emotional duress, penalties, fines, loss of a driver’s license and insurance spikes can take a toll on your marriage. It can also add to the problem if the individual at fault for the DUI has a problem and fails to seek treatment for their issues.


The divorce rate today for married couples in the United States is near 50 percent. While infidelity and irreconcilable differences typically head the list, the likelihood of a divorce stemming from driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a common occurrence.

Emotional Distress

Both spouses will be involved in the criminal proceedings of a DUI arrest, and the innocent victim is likely to go through a variety of emotions that range from anger, anxiety, depression and disappointment. If this has happened previously, your feelings may become escalated, especially if your spouse has a serious problem with the substance.

DUI Divorce

Financial Strain

Following the arrest for a DUI incident, a couple may experience financial hardships related to the case. A Tampa, FL DUI lawyer site for example, offers that, "if a minor is in the car with you at the time, the fines could reach $2000." So if your spouse is responsible for carpool duty and is driving drunk, not only is he endangering your kids' lives but the financial health of your whole family.

Bails, fines, damages and lawsuits may be additional expenses that can cause problems for a marriage. Instead of paying bills and saving for college or retirement, your funds could be tied up with legal fees and other expenses related to their DUI.

Positive Reassurance

If you’ve tried counseling and alcohol or drug treatment for your loved one, and they still continue to struggle, you need to move forward with your life. Divorce will allow you to enjoy being responsible for your own actions and never having to deal with issues related to your spouse’s DUI infractions.

Counseling may lessen the strain and aid in dealing with the issues related to the DUI, but it won’t get better unless they want to. If you have children, you need to put their health and wellness at the forefront of your recovery and getting them out of this environment is crucial to the healing process. You also need to think of your family’s safety by avoiding becoming a victim to their drunken binge on the roadway.

How to Leave Safely

Once you’ve exhausted all avenues of getting your loved one treatment for their problem, you need to file the necessary paperwork seeking a divorce. A counselor can aid you in the process during one of your therapy sessions to help all sides see to the reasoning of this plan. If your spouse is angry or belligerent, you may need to seek the help of a restraining order and law enforcement personnel.

Drinking and driving can be a problem that can affect a marriage forever. Finding the necessary resources to help you move forward toward divorce can aid in the process. You may also need to seek the help of support groups and independent counseling to achieve peace and happiness for you and your children.

Debbie Nguyen is a blogger who writes about family dynamics. Search Tampa, FL DUI lawyer online if you or your spouse need help defending against DUI charges in the Tampa/St. Pete area.

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