Thursday, March 24, 2011

Your Mother Should Have Told You: Don't Bring Beer to Court

On March 21, a New York man facing a charge of driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol (DUI in New York, OUI in Massachusetts) showed up intoxicated to a New York court for a hearing carrying an open can of beer, with four more cans in a bag. While this might be snickered at and mentally filed away under the "dumb guys in crime" category, it does highlight the issue of alcoholism and how it can contribute to a myriad of poor life decisions.

Alcoholism is a serious issue in many family court cases as well. Alcoholism can be a source of wasting assets, a reason one party has trouble supporting themselves, or worst of all, a parental fitness issue. Alcohol use and abuse is not only difficult to track (it won't show up on drug tests days later), it can also be difficult to prove and control.

But there are solutions for dealing with these issues in court, including the use of Breathalyzer technology and support programs. And oftentimes alcohol abuse can be proven through receipts and the pure volume of liquor being purchased. If alcoholism is an issue in your case make sure you consult with an attorney who is familiar with handling this type of issue.

In addition, if you or someone you know is struggling with an alcohol problem, we at Kelsey & Trask encourage you to seek help, whether through enrollment in a program such as Alcoholics Anonymous or otherwise.

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