If you’ve recently received a DUI charge, you’re probably experiencing a range of sensations and emotions, including anger, regret, anxiety, shame, and possibly even fear. These are very natural reactions, and there is no need to be worried about how you can effectively handle the situation. Many lawyers will advise you to complete a DUI evaluation as soon as possible, even before your first or second court appearance. Why? Because A DUI evaluation is a “win-win” situation for you. This will demonstrate to the judge that you are taking a cooperative and proactive approach.
Why should I complete a DUI Evaluation?
1. To abide by the law – Some states have established obligatory DUI evaluation laws, requiring convicted DUI offenders to assess their alcohol misuse problems. As a result, a judge or court officer may order a DUI evaluation as a legal requirement. The purpose of an assessment is to determine your drug or alcohol usage level and propose treatment to prevent future substance abuse or DUIs.
2. DUI evaluations may result in reduced fines – In general, getting a DUI assessment and starting the prescribed treatment before your trial date is in your best interest. Although your participation in a DUI assessment will not affect your arrest record, it may help you receive a less severe consequence. For example, alcohol education programs can often substitute, lessen, or remove harsher DUI penalties like court fines, license suspension, and jail time in drunk-driving instances.
3. DUI evaluations can assist you in determining your addiction risk – If you’ve been charged with a DUI, the courts will take the assessment’s final recommendations into account when choosing your sentence. It would be best if you did the same. Suppose you are open and honest with the evaluator. In that case, you will receive an evaluation that accurately reflects your situation and can help you determine whether you have a drug or alcohol addiction. This knowledge can also assist you in beginning your medical, mental, and emotional rehabilitation from problem drinking or drug use.
What is covered in a DUI evaluation?
You will meet with a certified licensed professional for a face-to-face clinical interview during a DUI evaluation. The assessment is designed to establish whether or not a person has a problem with drugs or alcohol. This is why DUI evaluations are usually lengthy and in-depth. Evaluators commonly take into account the following indicators:
● Alcohol use
● Drug use
● Substance abuse or dependency
● Driver risk
● Stress coping abilities
Your natural state, withdrawal potential (if any), emotional and behavioral status, treatment acceptance or resistance, relapse possibility, and recovery environment may also be reported in DUI assessments.
Benefits of DUI Evaluation
Even though it appears that an evaluation may land you in a situation with more significant problems by being open and honest, this is not the case. It’s not only the beginning of what may be a recovery therapy procedure, but it could also help you legally. Preemptively completing a DUI evaluation may demonstrate your willingness to comply. The evaluator may recommend counseling, classes, or courses to assist you and your case in the future.
The judge will make a decision on your case when the drug and alcohol assessment has been completed and analyzed. Their conclusions and the evaluators’ findings will determine if any of the following actions will be necessary for your betterment and as an alternative to jail time:
● 12-step/AA/NA meetings or group therapy sessions
● Substance abuse education classes
● Counseling sessions
● Rehabilitation program ( inpatient or outpatient)
● Random drug and alcohol urine testing
● Participating in a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program (RRP)