Law Firm of David N. Jolly (425) 493-1115
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In the context of driving under the influence, alcohol and drug use is front and center. While the great majority of DUI offenders are not substance abusers who require treatment, for those who are there exists another very real dilemma, reoffending. As a result most courts will order the defendant charged with DUI to undergo an alcohol/drug evaluation to determine whether they suffer from substance dependency. Moreover, advocates such as MADD vigorously campaign for mandatory alcohol or drug evaluations in the court environment.
It is our objective as a law firm who represents the DUI defendant, to get our clients the most fair and objective alcohol evaluation. Hence, all clients will be counseled prior to the evaluation and provided with copies of the MAST and DAST self reporting questionnaire. Do not underestimate the value of a good (fair!) evaluation! Further, we will refer our clients to only a few individual treatment centers for evaluations as many treatment centers are more interested in the bottom line (money) than our client's welfare.
THE ALCOHOL EVALUATION
The alcohol evaluation is required by the court and can have a significant impact on your case. Please take it seriously! It is our objective to prepare you as best we can so that you can anticipate what to expect and get the most fair and reasonable evaluation possible. The evaluation follows the guidelines set forth by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM).
The focus on the evaluation will be to determine if you have either a substance abuse problem or if you are risk for developing alcohol/drug-related problems. If the evaluation determines that neither of these is present, then you will be determined to have “No Significant Problem” and will not need treatment (you will still need to do the 8-hour Alcohol Drug Information School, however).
In order to complete the evaluation the treatment provider must have the following information:
1. The police narrative; 2. The BAC ticket; and 3. Your Driver’s Abstract from the DOL.
We will forward the narrative and BAC ticket to the treatment center and if we have your driver’s abstract, we’ll send that also. If we do not have your driver’s abstract you must get one from the DOL. Importantly, sign a release at the treatment center that allows only our law firm to receive a copy of the evaluation.
Summary of Questions that you can Expect
You may receive a few preliminary questions about your family history and whether any family member, related by blood, has had any alcohol/drug dependency issues. It is believed by some that alcoholism is hereditary and if someone in your family was an alcoholic/drug dependent then you are likely to be predisposed to the same condition.
These questions will be regarding your general alcohol/drug consumption. You will be asked what age you started drinking and how much you consumed at that age. It seems like the age of 15 is key – if you started consuming alcohol before that age you are more likely to have a substance abuse problem. The majority of questions, however, will focus on your drinking habits during the last 12 months and also since the incident (be sure you don’t consume alcohol after your arrest). What will get you in trouble is the following: 1) Admitting that you consume alcohol on a daily basis; or 2) admitting that periodically (ie. monthly/weekly) you drink to excess (ie. 4+ drinks).
Affect of Alcohol and your life
Questions in this area pertain to how alcohol consumption may affect your family, your work, or your own life. The more significant effect the more likely it is you have a substance abuse problem.
These questions will focus on how many drinks it takes you to feel affected by alcohol. Further, the questions are designed to determine if you need to drink more now than you once did in order to feel affected. The higher your tolerance, the more likely you have a substance abuse problem.
You cannot hide the obvious, you’re getting evaluated because you have legal problems. However, the concern is if you have prior DUI or alcohol/drug related charges. If you do, you can assume that some level of alcohol dependency will be diagnosed and you’ll be required to do some level of treatment.
You cannot control this, but the belief is a BAC reading below 0.15 is not a concern (1st offense) while a BAC reading above 0.15 is cause for concern (the default belief is need of some treatment). Some believe a “refusal” is a concern too, so be certain to explain why you refused (if this applies to your situation).
You will be tested for alcohol or drugs in your system. This should be obvious, but do not consume alcohol within 24 hours of your evaluation and do not smoke marijuana within 30 days of your evaluation.
Readiness to Change
The treatment provider is interested in knowing if you have learned from this experience. If you have changed your habits then this is viewed as positive and there may be no need to further educate. Be sure to inform the treatment provider that you have learned from the experience and have made changes in your life.
You will be diagnosed with one of the following: 1) No Significant Problem (NSP) (ADIS); 2) Early Intervention (ADIS plus 12 hours of classes); Level I-Outpatient (1 treatment session per week for 5/6 months); Level II –Intensive Outpatient (3 treatment sessions per week for several months followed up by after care for several more months).
For information on your Washington State DUI or your Snohomish County DUI, King County DUI, Skagit County DUI, Island County DUI or Whatcom County DUI please contact our Washington State DUI attorneys for a free consultation at 425-493-1115, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out our main website at http://www.washdui.com or www.mukilteodui.com, www.everett-dui.co, www.marysville-dui.com, www.dui-bothell.com, or www.anacortesdui.com. We represent DUI clients in every court in Western Washington including Seattle DUI cases, Kirkland DUI cases, Redmond DUI cases, Shoreline DUI cases, Lynnwood DUI cases, Everett DUI cases, Mukilteo DUI cases, Marysville DUI cases, Mt. Vernon DUI cases, Anacortes DUI cases, and Bellingham DUI cases.