In many states, anyone arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) and/or drugs must undergo an alcohol and drug evaluation so the judge can determine the sentence. The point of the assessment is to help the judge understand if the offender has a serious substance abuse or alcohol related addiction and the risk the individual poses to public safety. The judge then reviews the defendant’s driving history, the results of the evaluation with the licensed counselor during the assessment, and BAC level at the time of arrest and then sanctions the length of alcohol and drug education classes that need to be taken, status of license revocation, fines, and other driving related restrictions. The length of the court mandated alcohol and drug awareness classes generally vary from a Level 1, 8 session/hours to a Level 3, 24 sessions/hours program.
While the violation itself may not truly reflect the driver’s substance abuse problem, the screening process is used to help individuals actually get the help they need instead of just giving them jail time. In fact, federal reports show that more than 70% of criminals in the justice system have substance abuse problems. Years of research into the effects of throwing violators in jail as a punishment for DUI has shown that when the violators were released, many just went back to their old habits because they never learned new skills to change their behavior. Very little rehabilitation education is actually available in the prison environment. Therefore, the courts have wised up and now mandate alcohol and drug education classes as part of the restitution.
Common reasons that an individual would need a drug or alcohol evaluation are for legal charges, disorderly conduct, testing positive for drugs at work, for license reinstatement, for school rule violations and/or because another physician is requesting it. In some cases potential employers, like those in the trucking field, might ask for an evaluation prior to a new hire. To fulfill the requirement, individuals can go in person to treatment centers, meet one on one with a licensed provider, or utilize the option of doing the assessment over the phone or via Skype with a certified substance abuse counselor.
Phone or Skype DUI or alcohol/drug assessments are a quick and cost effective way of getting this part of the court mandate completed. In general, the customer purchases the evaluation online from their home computer and is then promptly contacted by the certified counselor. A convenient time for the approximately one hour evaluation is agreed upon, or done immediately without ever having to leave the comfort of your own home. Participants will answer a number of standardized questions during the interview. They also need to provide the counselor with any forms or specific documents that need to be reviewed as part of the case. Then the clinician will analyze the data and provide a written evaluation to the participant within 24 – 48 hours. Utilizing this online option is definitely more convenient and less time consuming than having to schedule an appointment and drive across town to meet with an evaluator.