Should You Bail Out Your Drunk Brother-In-Law? Important Questions To Ask Before Deciding

A middle of the night phone call from the county jail is rarely a pleasant experience. This is especially true for those who have a brother-in-law or other extended family member who is frequently in trouble due to their uncontrolled consumption of alcoholic beverages. 

 While your first response to such a call may be to agree to come down and bail them out, doing so without careful consideration - and maybe a few conditions - may not be the healthiest solution for this type of habitual offender, even when you love them. A healthier course of action may be to take a little time to consider your options and the probable outcomes before deciding how to respond to their request for assistance.

Are their past actions a positive indication? 

When the person on the phone is making a request that they have also made one or more times in the past, it is important to use their past actions to help you decide whether helping them with a bail bond now is a good idea.

Before agreeing to help, take a minute to think back to the previous arrest or arrests and consider whether they actually did fully honor all the terms of their bond at those times, including attending all court dates. If your memory tells you that they did not fully abide by all terms of their bond, chances are good that this time will be have the same result, so bailing them out may not be the best way to approach this difficult situation. 

Will they agree to stop drinking and seek treatment? 

When drinking has become a problem that involves repeated arrests and the need to call on you for bail, its a clear sign that your relative's life has spiraled out of control. Alcoholism is extremely difficult to address without professional help and just their promise to stop drinking is not a good assurance that they will actually follow through and get the help they need to do so. In this situation, you may want to consider letting them know that you will consider bailing them out one last time, but only if they formally agree to enter and complete an alcohol treatment program. 

The question of bailing someone out, even someone you love, is a difficult decision to make. Having a frank discussion with a reputable bail bond service can help you understand the process and make the best possible decision for the situation you are facing.