In Georgia, anyone convicted of DUI faces potential jail time and a fine. However, they are also required to engage in two additional steps. First, they must complete the Georgia Department of Drivers Services-approved DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program. This is often referred to as DUI school and is the topic of another post. Second, one must also undergo a clinical evaluation for drug and alcohol use. Where recommended, the person must complete a substance abuse treatment program.
The Purpose of a Drug and Alcohol Evaluation
The purpose of a drug and alcohol evaluation is to determine if you have a drug or alcohol problem that could impact the health and safety of yourself or others. This is generally a two-part process. First, the professional screens for potential problems by asking a series of questions. If there appears to be a problem related to chemical use, the next step is to determine the nature of the problem and determine the appropriate treatment to address the problem. Additionally, in some cases, you may be asked to provide a release to allow an assessor to contact those who may have firsthand knowledge of your usage patterns to report their observations.
What to Expect in a Drug and Alcohol Evaluation
To meet the Georgia state requirements, an evaluation must be performed. This evaluation is completed by a professional certified in the field of addiction and approved by the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities. A DUI defense lawyer can assist you in locating an approved professional near your home and convenient to your schedule.
Once you make an appointment, you can expect the professional to ask you about your chemical use. Common questions include how much alcohol you consume on a daily and/or weekly basis. They will ask you about illegal drug use. You can also expect questions about the following topics.
- Your health
- Past substance use
- How substance use has impacted your life
- Any history of prior treatments
Proactive Drug and Alcohol Evaluations
While evaluations aren't required before a DUI conviction, in some cases your lawyer may determine it is to your advantage to get a drug and alcohol evaluation before court. This is a tactical decision which should be discussed with your Gainesville DUI lawyer.
If You Have Been Charged With DUI
If you have been charged with DUI, you probably already know you are facing serious criminal consequences. Gainesville DUI attorney dedicates his practice to the defense of those facing DUI charges. Some DUI cases call for pretrial litigation to suppress evidence. This can result in a reduction of the charges or even an outright dismissal. However, in other cases, the best approach includes an immediate drug or alcohol assessment with follow through on recommendations before the case is resolved. Contact us today.