DUI is a criminal offense, and anyone convicted of the crime faces an assortment of penalties.
Some of the consequences of a DUI include payment of fees and fines, temporary driver's license suspension, and even jail time.
In some cases, DUI offenders are given a chance to undergo court-ordered DUI treatment as part of a deferred sentencing arrangement or a condition of probation. It can also be an opportunity for the offender to avoid some of the penalties of a DUI conviction.
By signing up for DUI treatment programs, DUI offenders can find out about an existing alcohol problem and get the treatment they need.
If you are a DUI offender and the court has ordered you to join a DUI treatment program, here are some of the things you should expect from it.
You can expect to undergo an alcohol assessment, which is designed to help treatment professionals determine if an alcohol problem does exist.
During your alcohol assessment, you will be asked to answer a standardized test made up of questions that will help diagnose alcohol issues, if any.
The most commonly used test for alcohol assessment is the CAGE Test, which is made up of four yes or no questions.
Alcohol assessment agencies also use other types of tests, including the T-ACE Test, which can accurately diagnose alcohol problems in men and women; the MAST test, the 25 questions of which can effectively diagnose alcohol issues among adolescents and adults; and the 10-question AUDIT Test, touted to be the most accurate of all screening tests.
The initial assessment will be followed by a personal interview with a trained behavioral health professional.
This time around, the professional evaluator will ask you direct questions and typically refer to the answers you provided during your initial assessment from time to time.
Interview questions will also be more personal and will cover topics such as the history and extent of your alcohol use, your relationship with family and friends, your current dwelling environment, and your job, among other things.
The professional evaluator will then take all your answers into account when determining the severity of your alcohol problem, as well as the triggers that push you to drink. More importantly, the results of your alcohol assessment will be the evaluator's basis for any treatment recommendation in your case.
Treatment Recommendations to Expect
Some of the treatment recommendations you can expect after an alcohol assessment may include:
- Counseling sessions
- Attending Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings
- Alcohol detoxification
- Inpatient treatment
- Outpatient treatment
- Group meetings
- Dual diagnosis treatment if there's a co-existing mental disorder
- DUI Classes
The Importance of Completing Court-Ordered DUI Treatment
The biggest mistake a DUI offender ordered by a court to undergo DUI treatment could make is to ignore the whole thing outright.
As mentioned earlier, court-ordered DUI treatment is usually part of a deferred sentencing arrangement or a probation condition. A DUI offender not undergoing or completing court-ordered DUI treatment will be violating that arrangement or condition, and that comes with harsh consequences.
The judge who ordered you to undergo DUI treatment will likely issue a warrant to haul you back to court and impose your original sentence, which may include jail time.
It also would not be surprising if the judge makes you serve a longer jail sentence and pay steeper fines for not completing your court-ordered DUI treatment.
While it is true that undergoing court-ordered DUI treatment is not the easiest thing in the world, you still need to take it seriously. After all, it does help address your alcohol issues while giving you the chance to avoid some of the consequences of a DUI.