When a court hands down a sentence against a DUI offender, you can expect it to include fines, suspension of driving privileges, probation, and jail time as sanctions. In some cases, a court may decide to order the DUI offender to undergo DUI treatment as well.
More often than not, court-ordered treatment for DUI intends to give DUI offenders the chance to avoid some of the penalties of their conviction, that is, if they complete the program. It is also designed to determine if the offender has an underlying alcohol abuse problem that needs addressing. More importantly, DUI treatment online, particularly its alcohol education component, also aims to prevent convicted drunk drivers from becoming repeat offenders.
If you’re a convicted drunk driver ordered to undergo mandatory DUI treatment, here are some of the things that will happen.
Initial DUI Screening
DUI screening is the first step toward determining if you have an underlying alcohol problem that may have driven you to drink and drive.
Your initial DUI screening will have you answer questions indicated in the screening tool that will be used on you. Some of the instruments used for DUI screening may include:
- The CAGE Test—This four-question test, all answerable by a yes or a no, is considered one of the oldest and most commonly used screening instruments for alcohol abuse.
- The T-ACE Test—Three of the four yes or no questions in this test are from the CAGE test, but this test has a reputation for diagnosing alcohol issues in men and women more accurately.
- The AUDIT Test—Short for Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, the AUDIT test comprises ten multiple-choice questions. It is reputed to be one of the most accurate alcohol screening tests.
- The MAST Test—An acronym for Michigan Alcohol Screening Test, the MAST test carries 22 yes or no questions. It’s said to be effective in diagnosing alcohol problems among adults and adolescents.
If the initial drug screening fails to identify an underlying alcohol problem, there won’t be a need to make you undergo treatment, although your state may still require you to complete an online DUI class or an alcohol education course.
However, if the results indicate that an alcohol problem may be present, you can expect to undergo a more extensive alcohol assessment.
What To Expect From An Alcohol Assessment
To be performed by a mental health professional from a state-certified treatment provider, your alcohol assessment will delve deeper into your personal life with more probing questions.
The two forms commonly used for an alcohol assessment are the Diagnostic Interview Schedule-IV (DIS-IV) and the Addiction Severity Index (ASI).
The DIS-IV form is designed to determine if you have existing mental disorders contributing to an alcohol problem. On the other hand, the ASI is made up of more in-depth questions about your personal life. You can expect to be asked about your family, relationships, career, drug and alcohol use, and other questions that will help them establish the reasons for your drinking.
The treatment provider will use your alcohol assessment results to make a recommendation for an intervention and treatment plan, including its length and intensity.
Expected Alcohol Assessment Outcomes
After your alcohol assessment, the treatment provider will recommend that you to undergo an alcohol abuse treatment program, which may include any of the following:
- Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings
- Counseling sessions
- Group meetings
- Dual diagnosis if a co-existing mental disorder is present
- DUI School
- Inpatient treatment program
- Outpatient treatment program
Why You Need To Complete Mandatory DUI Treatment
Completing a court-mandated DUI treatment brings a host of benefits for you. You may be able to avoid jail time and some of the other penalties that come with your conviction. You will also be able to regain your license to drive.
Fail to complete the program, and you will be hauled back to court and be made to serve your sentence in its entirety.
DUI treatment is not a walk in the park for the offender. Still, it offers you a way out, and you would do well to make the most of the opportunity given to you.