01/10/2012 04:28 pm ET

Chelsea Handler Talks Drinking And DUIs

Chelsea Handler talks about alcohol the way other people talk about religion. It's fitting since her book of essays is titled "Are You There Vodka? It's Me Chelsea,"

"Vodka is a part of my life. Absolutely. Tequila or vodka, depending on the day you get me," she told Us Weekly at the NBC Universal TCA tour on Saturday. "But to function as I do, I can't be a mess."

The 36-year-old talk show host, did spend a night in jail for a DUI at the age of 21, and she says these days she much more responsible.

"I feel a big responsibility to not only everyone what watches the show, but to everyone who is on the show and all the employees I have," she explained. "We're creating jobs in a landscape where people aren't getting a lot of work."

Handler recreates her DUI experience in a new TV show loosely based around her life called "Are You There, Chelsea?" that stars Laura Prepon as a young Handler. She's quick to point out she's not trivializing the issue, telling reporters at a TCA panel, that drinking and driving is definitely "irresponsible," and she thinks correcting the behavior is the best way to move forward.

"I mean if you are correcting your behavior, it's not a repeat thing," she said. "In real life I got a DUI once. I haven't gotten one since."