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Man says drunk driving decision impacted by mental health issues

There are many reasons people may repeatedly commit crimes. These include addiction and mental health issues, which can sometimes be helped through treatment rather than incarceration. In Illinois, a board member of the Park District of Forest Park has gone to treatment after spending time in jail for three drunk driving charges.

The individual says that being arrested for the DUI incidents caused him to seek treatment for his mental health issues. These include bipolar disorder and alcohol addiction. Bipolar disorder commonly co-occurs with alcoholism when it is left untreated.

The man sought professional help following the incident in September 2017. Several months later, in May 2018, he went to court to plead guilty to a DUI. He was ordered to pay $2,500 in fines for the first offence and $3,052 for the second offence. He also spent 20 days in jail concurrently, as the charges he faced in northwest Illinois were considered misdemeanors. This covered all three September incidents.

The man in question said he was sober for eight months prior to the arrests but fell back into bad habits after losing his job in the same month as the incidents. Along with the job loss, the man was struggling with a recent family death, diabetes and family stresses. Unable to reach a trusted friend for support, he stated he fell into a manic episode that contributed to his drunk driving arrests. Those who are facing similar charges for arrests where mental health is a contributing factor should discuss their possible defense options with an Illinois lawyer.

Source:, "Park board member finds treatment after third DUI, jail time", Nona Tepper, May 22, 2918

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