DUI Arrest: Caring and Supportive DUI Assessments
The laws governing driving under the influence in California have evolved in recent years. While the "official" legal threshold for being charged with a DUI has remained driving with a blood alcohol level (BAC) of .08% or higher, the laws have become much more stringent with regard to the punishments.
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Sometimes accidents can be blamed on alcohol when the BAC is lower than .08%. There is a general rule that a DUI that causes an accident will be charged as a felony.
DUIs are Not Just for Alcohol Anymore
Increasingly, prescription drugs are the cause of DUIs. With the legalization of marijuana, it is expected that people are driving impaired under the influence of that drug as well. The tests for both of these substances are less straightforward than for alcohol which is a very routine blood or breath test
Most states require a person convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs ("DUI") to complete a substance abuse evaluation. Some states also require the evaluation as a condition of participating in programs— such as a diversion and deferred sentencing—that allow the offender to avoid a DUI conviction.
Typically, substance abuse evaluations must be administered by an agency certified by the state. While the overall purpose, process, and types of assessments and treatment programs are similar, each state has its own requirements. This article provides an overview of the common circumstances leading to a court-ordered drug and alcohol assessment, what the evaluation consists of, and what happens after the evaluation.
Purpose of a DUI Substance Abuse Evaluation
A substance abuse evaluation is used to identify the possible presence and extent of an offender's drug and/or alcohol problem. The evaluation also allows for the development of a treatment plan designed to address the person's specific circumstances.
When a person is arrested for a DUI, the court will likely require the offender to undergo a substance abuse evaluation at some point during the criminal proceedings. Some states require the evaluation to be completed before an offender is sentenced. In those states, the substance abuse evaluation impacts how a judge sentences an offender and can sometimes reduce, eliminate, or increase penalties that would otherwise be imposed. Other states require the evaluation within a certain period of time after sentencing as a condition of probation or part of a diversion, deferred sentencing, or similar program.
Process of a Substance Abuse Evaluation in California
A court-ordered evaluation typically consists of a detailed interview with a certified treatment provider. The provider also reviews the offender's substance abuse and criminal history, driving record, and the arrest report. Sometimes the offender is required to provide a drug and alcohol urinalysis screening as well. Based on the interview, supporting documents, and results of the urinalysis, the treatment provider will typically make a recommendation for a specific treatment program.
Generally, the offender is responsible for the costs of the evaluation and the treatment program. The substance abuse evaluation fee varies on the situation, tand is paid directly to the agency performing the evaluation.
Outcomes of a DUI Substance Abuse Evaluation
If the evaluation determines that an offender has a substance abuse disorder (SUD), there will be a treatment recommendation. The types of treatment programs vary by state. But generally, treatment programs must provide a curriculum that includes counseling, assessments, and risk reduction. Depending on the recommendations of the evaluator, a DUI offender may be required to complete any number of the following:
- Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and/or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings
- Substance abuse education or counseling sessions
- Random drug and alcohol testing
- An Outpatient treatment program
- An inpatient (residential) treatment program
- Individual and/or group counseling
The state's requirements ordinarily determine the length and curriculum of the treatment programs. However, generally, the more significant the substance abuse problem, the longer and more intense the required treatment program will be.
Sometimes the evaluation determines that a DUI offender doesn't have an SUD. For example, the circumstances of the arrest might indicate the DUI was the result of a single instance of bad judgment rather than a substance abuse problem. However, even if no drug or alcohol issues are identified, California may still require DUI offenders to complete a substance abuse education course or some other minimum requirements.
Consequences of Failing to Complete the Substance Abuse Evaluation
Failing to complete an evaluation and/or a treatment program can result in a probation violation, harsher sentencing, or revocation of a diversion or similar program. Additionally, the department of motor vehicles generally won't reinstate a DUI offender's driving privileges until proof of completion of the evaluation and treatment program are provided.
DUI Assessments and Substance Abuse Evaluation
In many cases, if a person has been charged with a DUI, he/she will be required to undergo a DUI assessment or substance abuse evaluation. Call our treatment center today (or use the chat function on this page or form in this site) to get help completing a DUI Assessment. Our team is standing by to help.
A comprehensive substance abuse evaluation:
- assesses how substance use affects your life
- determines if you have a drug or alcohol use disorder
- assesses the severity of the substance use disorder
- determines if there are any co-occurring conditions (like anxiety or trauma)
- allows the treatment team to establish a baseline and build a treatment plan for your needs and recovery
A court-ordered DUI Assessment typically consists of a detailed interview with a certified treatment provider. The provider may review the person's substance abuse and criminal history, driving record, and the arrest report. Sometimes the person is required to provide a drug and alcohol urinalysis screening as well.
Based on the interview, supporting documents, and results of the urinalysis, the treatment provider will typically make a recommendation for a specific treatment program.
Treatment May not Be Required, but Change is Necessary
Just because someone has been charged with a DUI, it doesn’t mean they have an alcohol or substance use disorder. But the dangerous behavior must be addressed for the safety of that person and others.
Deadly DUI Statistics
About 1 in 3 traffic deaths in the United States involves an impaired driver. In California, there are over 10,000 deaths caused by impaired drivers between 2003 in 2012.
If someone makes the decision to operate a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they are endangering lives, and they need to stop this behavior before someone gets hurt.
A Letter from One Our Recovering DUI Alumni
Hey guys! Just wanted to say I'm so thankful for your influence and love towards me in these past few years and I'm forever thankful for the help and direction you guys pushed me towards back then and today moving forward . Our assignment in dui class today was to write a letter to drugs . I thought I could share it with you guys . I'll send it through .
I’ve known you and had a deep relationship with you since early high school years. You made me feel powerful and not care about the things that would bring weight and responsibility to my life .
You made me feel like whoever I decided to be and whichever actions I chose I was fine with, whether good, bad, or inconsequential. You gave me confidence with girls and helped me decide that I liked myself better on drugs than being sober , which later would lead my pursuit of self destruction without knowing it.
You influenced the glorification I adopted towards drugs and drug use. You have robbed many years of my life and many tears of those closest to me . You have robbed me of passions and pursuits that I desired early on in my life.
You have ruined relationships that I still think about many years later. You sent me to prison due to your influence and stronghold on my life. You had a deep influence in my multiple felony convictions, my multiple DUI’s, and the record that holds me back moving forward and the judgement I will have to be held accountable too during future endeavors, and opportunities moving forward.
You influenced me in robbing my family of thousands of dollars for rehabs and help that never could stick. If I go back to your facade of carelessness, pleasure, and chains I’ll end up dead or back in prison. I will be choosing to inflict pain and hopelessness over my mother and father and worry and stress over there minds every single day.
I’d like to speak this over our past relationship and any future attempts you plan on making towards me or my life moving forward; leave me alone. I choose not to be swayed by your delusional, irrational, and empty promises that you swear by. I can say for good that I’m not wasting any more years on your sorry ass, and/or any other substances whose end goal is to leave me shamed, addicted, and empty.
Our Residential Addiction Treatment Approach
State-of-the-Art Clinical Treatment for Alcohol or Substance Use Disorders
Present Moments Recovery has earned it's stellar reputation by offering the latest in inpatient evidence-based treatment through a client-centered and personalized approach.
Our goal is to provide you with a recovery drug rehab experience that is of course unforgettable, but more importantly imparts to you the tools needed to navigate your life in a positive and constructive manner, free of drugs or alcohol.
The Premiere Residential Drug Rehab in San Diego
Our unique and serene setting for our clients helps them to be inspired and comfortable as they are guided through the therapeutic processes and activities that will heal the underlying issues that exacerbated their drinking or drug use.
Read below to find out more about the modalities employed that make our treatment process so unique and effective.
Comprehensive and Accredited Alcohol Program
Our clinical staff will use whatever tools are available to assist our client’s recovery and this includes a wide variety of evidence-based therapeutic activities and processes that will address core underlying issues that contribute to the substance use disorder.
When these underlying issues are addressed, it is easier for our clients to achieve long-term recovery.
Our clinical director will continuously monitor your progress and adjust the blend of groups and activities as your recovery progresses. Our medical director can continue prescribing your existing medications and (when appropriate) write a prescription for MAT medications like Suboxone or Vivitrol to help you manage cravings and discomfort during early sobriety. Our clinical staff can manage the dispensation of the medication at the assigned times.
It’s very helpful to have all clinical parts of the recovery support team in communication with each other like they are at Present Moments. Dr. Milgram will be in charge of both the prescribing of the medications, monitoring your progress, and managing your personalized treatment regimen. This way, the treatment is holistic and truly supportive in nature.
Contact Our DUI Assessment Program in San Diego Today
Our founder Mark Gladden is standing by to take your call, check availability, and see if our assessment program is a good match for you in your current recovery trajectory. Call him now at Present Moments number (619) 363-4767, or send a confidential form by filling out the fields on this page.