When you’re in your car, reaching for your car breathalyzer (ignition interlock device), that moment before you breathe into the device can be one of reflection. You don’t love the situation you’re in, but you understand the mistake you made that brought you to that point – you drove under the influence of alcohol. Maybe that was the first and only time you’ve ever made that choice, but the odds are that you’ve been intoxicated behind the wheel before. That self-reflective moment may even lead to the ultimate question, “Am I an alcoholic?”
Not all drunk drivers are alcoholics and not all alcoholics are drunk drivers.
It is estimated that a convicted drunk driver has driven under the influence 80 times prior to their arrest. However, there are those who simply don’t know how alcohol affects their judgment or those who may have accidentally mixed medications with a happy hour cocktail. Wondering if you’re an alcoholic is a positive step in your recovery after a DUI, which is why most states require or offer substance abuse evaluations during the legal process and classes once your conviction is handed down. An honest evaluation of your drinking habits is the best way to determine your level of dependence, and then you can make changes as necessary.
With your ignition interlock device, you have no choice but to drive sober. Once you’ve gotten used to the device and understand how you got into that position to begin with, you can take the lessons of sober driving into any other area of your life that may be touched by alcohol dependence. The odds are that you just need to plan better before you head out to happy hour, so you have a safe ride home. An ignition interlock device isn’t necessarily a sign of alcoholism, but it can definitely be a reason to evaluate your drinking habits and make positive changes for the future.