So you’ve been arrested and charged with a DUI for the first time, and being in that situation can be daunting. After all, DUI is a serious offense in all states, and it carries severe penalties as well.
Should you get convicted of a DUI, you can expect to deal with consequences such as jail time, driver’s license revocation, and payment of steep fines.
However, there is a chance the judge presiding over your case would allow you to enter into a suspended sentencing arrangement and order you to undergo a DUI treatment program instead.
Whether it’s online DUI treatment or otherwise, such a program is designed not only to educate DUI offenders about the consequences of drunk driving but also help them identify an underlying alcohol problem if it exists and get the necessary treatment for it.
If you’re a first-time offender and you have to go through DUI treatment, here are some of the things you can expect.
You Will Undergo DUI Screening
At your initial DUI screening, you will be asked to answer tests that carry questions aiming to establish a drinking problem, if any.
If your answers to the questions point to the existence of alcohol issues, you can expect to be recommended for an alcohol assessment.
You Will Answer More In-depth Questions During Alcohol Assessment
Alcohol assessment can be similar in the sense that it involves answering more questions.
This time, however, the questions are more probing—even personal.
The questions that you will need to answer during your alcohol assessment will touch on things like your relationships with family and friends, your job, and of course, alcohol use.
Through your answers, the mental health professional conducting your alcohol assessment should be able to identify your triggers for drinking and the severity of your alcohol problem. Your alcohol assessment results will also help accurately determine your treatment needs and how long and intense it should be.
Possible Treatment Recommendations
Depending on your alcohol assessment results, you may be asked to enter alcohol abuse treatment programs.
If your alcohol assessment discovers a co-existing mental disorder along with your alcohol problem, you may have to undergo dual diagnosis treatment to address both issues.
Your results may also call for alcohol detoxification, then inpatient or outpatient alcohol treatment later.
You may also be asked to attend Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings.
In most cases, attending alcohol abuse education programs or DUI school is also a requirement to help a first-time DUI offender learn how dangerous drunk driving can be and how to avoid drinking and driving in the future.
Why Completing DUI Treatment Is A Must
When a judge orders you to undergo DUI treatment, you are in no position to refuse or avoid it.
Given that it’s a part of your suspended sentencing arrangement or a condition of your probation, refusing or avoiding DUI treatment comes with harsh consequences.
Keep in mind that completing the DUI treatment process is necessary to reinstate your driver’s license. Fail to undergo or finish treatment for DUI, and you won’t find yourself driving legally anytime soon.
Failure to complete DUI treatment is a violation of your probation, something that courts do not look upon kindly. If a judge determines that you did violate the conditions of your probation, don’t be surprised if he or she extends your probation, or worse, make you serve more time in jail and pay much heftier fines.
DUI treatment may not be a walk in the park, but if it gives you the opportunity to reduce or even eliminate your penalties, then it would be in your best interest to take it seriously.