Over four million adults reported driving at least once while under the influence of alcohol during 2018. It is estimated that there were over 112 million episodes of alcohol-impaired driving. According to the FBI, over 1.4 million drivers were arrested for DUI this year. When arrested for DUI, the court will mandate substance abuse evaluation.
What is Substance Abuse Evaluation?
A substance abuse evaluation is an assessment of one’s alcohol and drug use. You will complete an online or written questionnaire before meeting with a certified substance abuse counselor. Drug and alcohol screening may be required. Often this evaluation is ordered by a court of law after a crime is committed, such as drinking and driving.
What to Expect from the Questionnaire?
The form will ask questions about your history of alcohol and drug use. It will ask if substances have effected relationships, employment, or finances. These questions will help find an underlying reason for the evaluation, including depression or anxiety.
What to Bring to the Interview?
If you are arrested due to drugs or alcohol, you will need to bring court documentation to the substance abuse evaluation.
- Arrest documents including sentencing sheet, tickets, incident report, and probation papers.
- Criminal history report
- 7-year Motor Vehicle Report for a DUI
- DUI School Completion Certificate and NEEDS Assessment
What to Expect during the Interview?
When you attend the interview, you are asked questions about the information you submitted in the questionnaire. The certified counselor will look into your drug and alcohol use further and ask questions that may be uncomfortable. Tell the truth as this person is asking questions to help you, not cause you embarrassment. Be open about how you are feeling during the interview.
You are asked to give contact information for several people who will be questioned about you and your substance use. You will need to give their full names, contact information, and best time to reach them. While it may be uncomfortable to know people are being asked about your substance use, keep in mind it’s helping you. It will decide if you need substance abuse help.
Drug and Alcohol Screening
You may be asked to give a urine sample to find if you now have drugs in your system. Be honest during the screening process if you have recently used drugs or alcohol, or if you use prescription medication. This screening will decide the counselor’s recommendations to the court on your behalf.
Based on the evaluation of all documents and interviews, the certified counselor will make recommendations to the court on your treatment. The certified counselor will place you in one of three categories.
- Dependent on Drugs or Alcohol: If the counselor attests that you are chemically dependent, you will be required to complete rehabilitation at a certified center. The court can mandate eight months to two years of treatment.
- Suffering from Drug or Alcohol Abuse: If you are said to be abusing drugs or alcohol or have the potential to abuse, then you will be mandated to attend counseling. This means the counselor does not believe you are addicted at this point but have the potential for addiction if not treated. You will receive court mandated therapy for six to twelve months.
- Not Enough Evidence to Diagnose: If not enough evidence to diagnose one of the earlier rulings, you will be required to attend a drug and alcohol school for a day. This is to teach you about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse to keep you sober.