What is the correct punishment for two DUI’s in five years?

Readers Question Readers Question: (Name changed for privacy)
Stanton Peele Response by: Dr. Stanton Peele
Posted on September 1st, 2008 - Last updated: November 21st, 2023
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I was arrested for my second DWI within five years, which is a felony. In order to avoid jail, “clients” are referred to the Alcohol Abuse and Deterrent Program. As a condition of this probation, the duration of which is three years, I am required to take Antabuse through AADP (2 tablets three times a week). Upon ingesting this drug, I suffered severe physical problems. They discontinued forcing this drug on me while my personal physician could run tests to determine if there was another cause for my symptoms. Before my doctor was finished with the testing, they forced the drug on me a second time, with the same physical problems resulting. As a consquence, my doctor wrote them a letter telling them to cease making me ingest the drug. I was remanded to the sentencing judge, who ordered that I be placed on home detention for six months in lieu of the Antabuse.

Home detention is overseen by Community Corrections. CC had her take a series of “psychological tests”. The woman who was assigned to review these tests and make recommendations, recommended I take a 6 week class. The next time I met with these people, I was told that the Board at CC negated the recommendations of this woman and that I would be required to take a 24 week class and participate fully in group therapy.

I now attend classes four out of five days per week and two evenings, and I am forced to attend AA twice a week and get a sponsor until the end of my probation.

One year after my arrest, I have spent over $10,000 for these “programs” and they just keep throwing more at me. I don’t know where it will end at this point.



States around the country have implemented Draconian DWI laws, and the feeling is that these are justified — especially for multiple offenses.

But piggybacked with penalties (like loss of license) are often arduous treatments, even pharmaceutical remedies. As well as being punitive, forcing attendance in programs that may violate separation of church and state, expensive, and never-ending, these programs may be dangerous to your health

We live in a time when penalties and treatment overlap, where the state has tremendous control over violators of various substance abuse laws, and where the individual who is caught in DWI or other substance use violations may never be totally free of supervision for many years.


Stanton Peele

Dr. Stanton Peele, recognized as one of the world's leading addiction experts, developed the Life Process Program after decades of research, writing, and treatment about and for people with addictions. Dr. Peele is the author of 14 books. His work has been published in leading professional journals and popular publications around the globe.

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