The Drug Class Blog

Oct 21

What To Expect From Alcohol Treatment for DUI

What To Expect From Alcohol Treatment for DUI

As a criminal offense, driving under the influence or DUI carries several penalties. The consequences of a DUI jail time, hefty fines, license suspension, and probation.

Sometimes, however, judges include mandatory DUI treatment, especially for first-time offenders. With a court-ordered alcohol treatment for DUI, offenders get a chance to find out if they have an underlying alcohol problem so they can get the needed treatment before getting their driving privileges restored.

If you’re a DUI offender and the court orders you to undergo alcohol treatment for DUI, what can you expect during the process?

DUI Screening

An initial DUI screening aims to determine whether you have an existing alcohol problem or not.

DUI screenings typically involve you answering tests made up of several questions, all of which are designed to find out whether or not you require a more thorough alcohol assessment.

There are several short and long alcohol and screening instruments in use, with names such as CAGE Test, T-ACE Test, and AUDIT or Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, which has a reputation of being accurate up to 94% of the time. Administering most of these tools require little to no special training.

If the results of the initial DUI screening show that you do have an existing alcohol problem, then you may have to go through more extensive assessments and treatment programs.

Alcohol Assessment

When the DUI screening results hint at an existing alcohol abuse problem, a more extensive evaluation will have to be conducted on you afterward by a mental health professional.

During an alcohol assessment, you can expect to be asked more in-depth questions about, among other things, your health, your alcohol use, and what drove you to drink.

Alcohol assessment is usually done using two forms:

Diagnostic Interview Schedule-IV (DIS-IV)—The DIS-IV focuses on finding out if you are suffering a psychological or mental disorder that is driving you to abuse alcohol. The questions that will be asked of you will be clear and easy-to-answer ones.

Addiction Severity Index (ASI)—The ASI is all about delving deeper into your personal life with questions regarding your relationships, family history, employment, and drug and alcohol use, among other things. These questions will help determine what drove you to abuse alcohol and/or other substances.

Your alcohol assessment results will be used to develop an intervention and treatment plan that will specifically address your circumstances. The treatment plan will also include recommendations about the length and intensity of your treatment.

Outcomes of An Alcohol Assessment

The results of an alcohol assessment usually lead to a referral to undergo alcohol abuse treatment programs, the levels of which may include:

Attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings


Dual diagnosis treatment if found with a co-existing mental disorder


Group meetings

Alcohol abuse education or DUI classes

Inpatient alcohol abuse treatment

Outpatient alcohol abuse treatment

Aftercare programs

Sober living facilities

The Importance of Completing DUI Treatment

Alcohol treatment for DUI is usually a condition of probation or part of a suspended sentencing arrangement.

If you are ordered to undergo DUI treatment, it would be in your best interest to heed the court order. If you fail to sign up for and complete any evaluation or program, you will be in violation of your probation or your suspended sentencing arrangement, and that will bring on a host of problems for you.

You won’t be able to have your driver’s license reinstated, as completion of the evaluation and DUI treatment program is one of the conditions for the return of driving privileges.

Worse, you may have to be brought back to court for a probation violation hearing, and the judge handling your DUI case will also likely hand down much harsher penalties, including a longer jail sentence.

While it’s true that treatment for DUI entails certain sacrifices, they are certainly more bearable than having to pay heftier than usual fines and spending a much longer time behind bars.

What do you think?

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