Why Do You Have To Get a Clinical Evaluation?
Most misdemeanor offenses will involve fines and the possibility of jail time. But when it comes to driving under the influence in Georgia, not only will you face jail and fines, but the state will also make you get a clinical evaluation, and if recommended, you'll have to go through up to a year of substance abuse treatment. Unless it is waived by the court, even a first-time DUI will mean you have to get clinical treatment.
DUI Clinical Evaluation for a Drunk Driving Conviction
For many first-time DUIs, and for all second, third, or other multiple DUIs, a conviction will mean you have to complete DUI school, and do a state-approved clinical evaluation from a state-licensed clinical evaluator. If you want to stay on probation or get your license suspension lifted, you'll have to complete not only the evaluation, but any recommended treatment program.
Unless it is waived by the court, DUI offenders will be required to do a face-to-face clinical evaluation, which is essentially an interview conducted by a Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities-approved, licensed or certified professional who works in the field of addiction. This generally will last from an hour to an hour and a half, and may also include a review of your DDS record and pre-DUI school assessment results. After the evaluation, the evaluator may or may not recommend a treatment program. The minimum length of treatment is a 6-week program, with the maximum being 52 weeks. If recommended, the individual will have to complete the recommended treatment plan to completion.
Because the evaluator cannot be the same person as the treatment program clinician, the individual will have to seek out a separate, approved treatment program. Treatment may from an outpatient program, to an intensive outpatient, inpatient, or intensive inpatient program. Most programs involve group and individual counseling sessions as part of the treatment. The person receiving treatment will have to complete a treatment program of the same level as recommended by the evaluator.
Upon completion of the treatment program, the individual will receive documentation of treatment completion, which can be submitted to the Department of Driver Services in order to have their license reinstated, so long as all fees and other requirements are met.
In most cases, if you seek treatment outside this state-approved process, it may not qualify towards getting your license back, or meeting probationary requirements. Additionally, if you drop out of the program, in order to fully complete treatment, you may have to begin again at the start.
Atlanta DUI Lawyer Defending DUIs
If you have been arrested for a DUI, a conviction may mean that you have to go through up to a year of counseling and treatment. Remember that an arrest does not have to end in a conviction. We have dedicated our professional careers to defending people charged with drunk driving, or other alcohol-related offenses. We will fight to make sure you keep your license. Call us today, anytime day or night, and we will fight for you.