Virginia Courts Not Sympathetic to ‘Alcoholism Is a Disease’ Defense

Some die-hard moralists may disagree, but all of the scientific and medical evidence points to alcoholism being a disease, just like multiple sclerosis or cancer. While being a chronic alcoholic who's been in and out of rehab multiple times might earn a person sympathy on daytime talk shows, the “disease” aspect of alcoholism doesn't cut much mustard with the general public where drunk driving is involved. We wouldn't expect a person with advanced multiple sclerosis to get behind the wheel of a car and put other motorists and pedestrians in danger, and the same logic applies to a chronic alcoholic on a periodic bender.

For this reason, people who have been convicted of multiple DUI offenses in Virginia (especially if the convictions transpire within less than five years of each other) are treated more harshly, rather than more leniently, by the state. While a judge or district attorney might personally have intense sympathy for an individual who's struggling with alcoholism, that official's primary duty is to protect the general public—which is why a second or third DUI conviction usually results in the long-term revocation of your driver's license, the seizure of your vehicle, and weeks (or even months) of jail time.

Throwing yourself on the mercy of the court and citing your chronic alcoholism won't impress Virginia officials—but an experienced defense attorney will know how to present that argument in a way that results in the lightest (and fairest) possibly penalty for your multiple infractions. Call the law firm of Jarrell Hicks & Waldman at 888-783-9701 today for a free consultation.

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