"I've always said my journey is day by day," explains the "RHONY" star. "I'm toasting to a happy new year ahead!"
In an article published New Year's Day, Luann told PEOPLE she had re-incorporated alcohol into her life. The publication said she reached the decision slowly, responsibly and after much soul-searching.
"New Year's has been a time of reflection," she said. "I've learned a great deal about myself, and I'm in a very good place and finally back in the drivers seat."
"I've always said my journey is day by day," she added. "I'm toasting to a happy new year ahead!"
After Lu finished answering the question, Tinsley shouted, "And she can drink! Yes!" At the time, Luann had not yet announced any plans to resume drinking after going to rehab twice and attending Alcoholics Anonymous.
Luann was arrested in Palm Beach, Florida, on charges of battery, trespassing and disorderly intoxication on Christmas Eve 2017. She entered an alcohol treatment center and vowed to stay sober, prompting the judge overseeing her case to impose probation instead of jail time. Luann was required to stay clean and sober, complete 50 hours of community service, attend two AA meetings per week and attend a Victim Impact Class organized by Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
Lu relapsed in July of 2018, admitting it was sparked by her kids' and ex-husband's lawsuit against her (alleging that she was supposed to set up a trust fund for the kids when she sold their family home). She said the lawsuit triggered a downward spiral, and that by the time her co-stars intervened, she was in the middle of a manic episode, desperately trying to buy a $6 million mansion in Upstate New York. She re-entered treatment with the help of recently exited "RHONY" star Bethenny Frankel, who also spearheaded the intervention.
In April 2019, Luann failed an alcohol test. She later admitted to "drinking 2 glasses of mimosas after a [cabaret] performance she had in Chicago." The next month, she was taken into custody for violating her probation, prompting the judge to order additional conditions, including keeping a breathalyzer in her car, weekly phone sessions with a therapist, monthly in-person meetings with a psychiatrist and taking Antabuse, a prescription drug that treats alcoholism.
She completed all terms of her probation in August 2019.
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