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Psychological Impacts of a DUI

Psychological Impacts of a DUI

A DUI conviction has several dire legal repercussions that can leave you feeling like your life is spiraling out of control. In addition to dealing with the legal matters, you may also be dealing with a lot of emotional distress, like guilt, shame, embarrassment, anxiety, and more. The situation is troublesome, no matter what age you are and whether you are dealing with a DUI for the first time or the second or third — although by the third conviction, your consequences are much more severe. Many people facing a DUI charge feel isolated from their friends and family, exacerbating the emotional distress they may be feeling. If you have been convicted of a DUII in Oregon and are looking for a DUI attorney in Bend, then contact Donahue Law Firm, the best criminal defense team in Bend. Schedule a consultation today and get the representation you deserve.

Shock and Denial

Shock and Denial

Being pulled over can be a surreal experience, since most of the time it is an unpleasant surprise. Many people are familiar with the stress that washes over them when they are caught for doing something they know they weren’t supposed to be doing, whether it’s driving with a broken headlight, driving with expired plates, speeding, or being pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving. Then you are driven to a police station where you have to provide your information and most likely spend the night. The whole thing is nothing less than horrifying — a nightmare that you want nothing more than to wake up from. You’ll find that you’;; try to convince yourself that you are innocent because you are not ready to take on the responsibility of your actions. Denial will get you through some of the process, but only so far.


As the consequences start unraveling and you begin living through them, the guilt and embarrassment may set in. It’s hard to acknowledge what happened, and you wished you had never gotten behind the wheel. It’s even harder to think about what your peers, friends, and family think of you. You may dread thefact that you have to ask for a ride to work, to the bank, to the grocery store, or anywhere else because your license is temporarily suspended. The loss of independence bleeds into all aspects of your life because it can make you feel like you’re stuck in a problem that you cannot get out of. 

Plus, you may find it extremely difficult to share news about your DUI to friends, co-workers, or managers as you explain your current life circumstances. Facing public scrutiny or judgement can definitely affect your mental health, making you feel more alone than you felt at the beginning of the DUI conviction. 


Feelings of Depression

Feelings of Depression

his list only scratches the surface of how a DUI conviction can take a toll on your mental health. There is surely a link between depression and DUI arrests, as the associated obstacles like loss of freedom and financial burden all contribute to feelings of depression. These feelings may cause you to pull away from friends and family, and you might start to avoid social situations. You could even experience stages of extreme fatigue and self-loathing. Being reminded of your DUI conviction, whether it is through paying fees or depending on ride-sharing apps can make it even more difficult to move on and shake feelings of depression.

Financial Stress

Financial stress is one of the worst burdens to bear because it follows you everywhere. As one of the leading causes of severe anxiety and depression, financial stress only worsens with the costs associated with a DUI. Between attorney fees, fines, and increasing insurance rates, the cost of a DUI in the United States can range anywhere from $4,000 to $17,000. Even for those who are financially secure, this is an unforeseen cost that can create a lot of stress, but for those living paycheck-to-paycheck, a DUI can be disastrous.


You may experience other feelings before reconstruction, like anger, guilt, pain, remorse, despair, and anxiety, and allowing these emotions to pass doesn’t mean they will be gone forever — our emotions are cyclical, especially during big life events like a DUI conviction. Reconstruction is a phase where your depression and emotional pain subsides and you start to reconstruct your life. You may begin to work through your emotional and financial issues and also start to figure out how you can improve your future.

Call Donahue

Again, this short list only scratches the surface in terms of the emotions you will go through. Everyone’s DUI conviction is different, meaning that everyone will experience a different process of emotions. Since DUI convictions vary from case to case, it is important to have a DUI defense attorney on your side that is highly skilled in the DUII laws of Oregon and can provide you with a singular and comprehensive defense strategy for representing you in court. 

Donahue Law Firm fiercely represents those convicted of a DUI, working closely with them to understand the case and identify any areas in the case that can work in their favor. If you have been convicted of a DUII in Bend, Oregon, then you need to contact our criminal defense attorneys. All you need to do is search “DUII attorney near me” and contact Donahue today.

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