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The road to recovery

It's a bit of a drive from Denver to Woody Creek. But for fans of the late gonzo writer Hunter S. Thompson, it's probably worth the circuitous, nearly four-hour trek. Perhaps the most famous landmark in the tiny town is Woody Creek Tavern, a rustic watering hole favored by Thompson, locals and now tourists.

Back in the 1960s and '70s, when Thompson penned his most famous works, punishments for drinking and driving were less severe than they are today and were probably more loosely enforced as well. A Woody Creek resident recently arrested for what could be his eighth alcohol-related driving offense might not yet be aware that times have indeed changed.

In fact, if his arrest had occurred on or after Aug. 5 of this year, he could be facing a felony DUI charge. Because the law doesn't go into effect until that date, right now the 57-year-old stands accused of a misdemeanor DUI, as well as felony aggravated driving with a revoked driver's license and several other charges.

He apparently has several DUI and DWAI convictions on his record, according to a newspaper report.

In similar situations, substance abuse experts would very possibly conclude that the suspect needs intensive treatment. An experienced, concerned DUI defense attorney might well also recommend alcohol-abuse treatment to such a client, and work to see that the client got the opportunity to spend time in useful care rather than behind bars.

In many cases, intensive treatment is similar to incarceration in the sense that it keeps the client secure in the treatment facility, away from intoxicants, and puts them on the road to recovery.

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