Have you gotten a DUI recently? Are you worried about one in the future for yourself or a loved one?
It doesn’t hurt to be prepared ahead of time when dealing with such a serious matter.
When you get a DUI you will probably be subjected to a substance abuse evaluation. It might seem like a scary term, but what does it mean? What happens during a DUI substance abuse evaluation anyway?
It’s best to avoid getting a DUI at all, but it’s also good to be prepared and do your research. We’re going to talk you through it so that you can know ahead of time what to expect.
What is a Substance Abuse Evaluation?
A substance abuse evaluation is sometimes required (depending on the state) to be administered to a DUI offender.
In some states, the outcome of this assessment, and the way that the defendant proceeds, may absolve them of some of the responsibility associated with the DUI.
Why is it Necessary?
Addiction and excessive alcohol use become a public health problem when they begin to impact the lives of others. When you get a DUI, you’re telling the court that you might have an addiction and that you need help.
The evaluation can help the court and mental health professionals determine your specific needs. If it’s discovered that you are suffering from addiction or dangerous tendencies regarding alcohol, you will probably be submitted to a treatment program.
Depending on the outcomes and your commitment to treatment, you may have charges or punishments softened. Compliance is key.
With all of this said, you aren’t getting a free treatment on the government’s dime. You still have to foot the bill for the evaluation and the treatment that comes after.
What if I Opt-Out?
If you decide not to complete the evaluation, you may face more extreme charges than you would have before.
You might get probation, an extended sentence, and an inability to earn your driver’s license back. In other words, it’s not really an option, it’s an obligation.
What Happens After?
After your substance abuse evaluation, the court can determine that you are not actually a substance abuser. This was a bad choice for a first-time offender and nothing more.
If the court does find that you have a drug or drinking problem, you will be subjected to some kind of treatment plan.
You will be required to attend Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings, or to begin going to other forms of group counseling or rehabilitation.
If your condition is severe, you might be subjected to inpatient or intensive outpatient care as well as random drug testing. You might be obligated to begin seeing a counselor too.
These things may seem burdensome at first, but they are in place to help you and your community.
Considering Substance Abuse Counseling? Let’s Talk About It
A substance abuse evaluation is often the wakeup call that people need to begin seeking help for their condition.
There’s no shame in utilizing counseling and treatment to improve the lives of yourself and others in your community. This is a service to your own health and safety, as well as the safety of those around you.
If you’re in need of an evaluation, or you’re ready to begin your journey towards self-improvement, reach out.