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I Think One Of Our Boys Could Be Heading For His 3rd DUI, a Felony In This State

One of our boys, at age of about 18 was arrested along with one of his friends at the time for breaking and entering. At the age of 21 while living with his brother and a couple fiends in a rented house, he got a DUI which of course caused him (and us) a ton of problems both financially and everything else that goes with a DUI.

Finally getting the first DUI behind us within the a yr. and while still on probation from the first one, he got a second DUI. He had to move home becuase of the financial burden on him. After some time he ended up losing a decent job that he had at the time because of all alcohol related functions he had to attend which cut into his work schedule.

All this time he'd been attending college on a part time basis working towards a nursing degree, while doing so he became certified in CNA and Phlebotomy, working a low paying part time job in a nursing home and still living at home, rent free. He'd been agressively trying to land a job in a local hospital doing anything just to get his foot in the door.

Finally after a yr. of trying, the hospital gave him a break and hired him in a Cap2 position with good pay while he's still going to school. Until recently, he'd *apparenty* sworn off alcohol completely after his second DUI.

He's now living in his widowed grandfathers house free of rent taking care of the place while his grandfather is often out of town traveling. He loves to play pool and goes to a bar quite often to play. He's long maintained that he no longer drinks though. UNTIL recently he's apparently starting with the beer drinking again.

My wife and I found this out yesterday when she discovered that he'd got a ride home from the poolhall/bar, unable to drive himself. I've talked with hime for the past two yrs. abt. the problems involved should he ever get a third DUI and he's always acknowledged the problems saying that I don't have to worry abt. it, that it will never happen again.

I now have a problem of becoming very angry while trying to talk to him abt. the future consequenses of his continued drinking and understandably, he becomes very angry with me as well. In this state (Idaho)a third DUI becomes a felony which at that time of course will completely ruin any chance of a decent future he could otherwise obtain.

My worries abt. him falling into yet a third DUI is virtually on my mind 24 hrs. a day. I'm now 66 yrs. old and I can definetly feel the stress from it. The boy is very hard working and IS a great kid, very thoughtful and has a heart of gold.

I'm just having a terrible time knowing that there's nothing I can do but watch and see what unfolds. I don't know if I/we should try and get him help somehow or if I shouuld try and get myself help ... I can't stand the thought of just standing by watching helplessly, never knowing when the next ph. call might come in from the police staion. Thank you and I apologize for the length of this. Answer

You hit the nail on the head when you said 'there's nothing I can do, but watch and see what unfolds.' Your son is an adult, and you can't control the choices he makes with his life. So if he decides to make a bad one, like drive under the influence again knowing the consequences that will result, he's going to have to be prepared to live with those.

So it may be worthwhile simply to remind your son of what will happen if he gets another DUI - but try and do it from a place of love and concern, rather than anger. It's usually 'how' you say it rather than 'what' you say that is most important. And doing it that way means the message is also likely to hit home.

Getting help for yourself is also a good idea. Letting go can be very hard for a parent, especially when you watch a child making poor decisions and want to somehow intervene. But that's unfortunately how we learn, from the mistakes we make, and even though the consequences are sometimes severe, they also contribute the greatest opportunity for growth and learning.

Maybe your son will be receptive to getting help for his drinking, so by all means suggest it. But there are no guarantees he will be. So keep working at communicating with your son in a way that doesn't create conflict, and will hopefully mean he'll be more receptive to what you have to say.

It's also important you hold your son accountable for the decisions he makes, so have you thought about taking away his car priviledges until he shows he can drive responsibly again? If your son is actually made to experience the consequences of his poor decisions thus far, rather than just talking about what will happen if he gets another DUI, it will hopefully mean he'll take all of this more seriously.

Good Luck

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