DUI Evaluations or Assessments: It’s not about passing or failing
Whether it’s for drugs or alcohol use, your arrest for driving under the influence in northwestern Washington means you must undergo a court-ordered DUI evaluation or assessment. The purpose of this proven clinical assessment is to appraise whether drugs or alcohol are problems in your life.
If you feel resistant towards being evaluated, you’re not alone. Rest assured, we here at Associated Behavioral Health are known for fair and accurate assessments. We understand the very suggestion you need evaluation for a drinking or drug problem is distressing. Your instincts to evade the ‘label’ are natural. However, we’ve never had a client who has regretted getting help early.
We’ve seen many who wished intervention had come earlier.
1. Be candid.
We are facilitators of transformation. For this reason, we recommend you come to your evaluation prepared to be honest and forthcoming. This is an evaluation of where you are in terms of a possible addiction issue, so the only way to prepare, is to commit to being authentic with the counselor.
We follow a state-approved and evidence-based clinical model to evaluate more than how much of a substance you use or whether dependency is an issue. The questions we ask gauge many factors, including factors such as your stress coping abilities and your emotional and behavioral status.
2. Be prepared.
The interview is thorough and timely–at least 1 hour, possibly 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
Here’s what you need to provide. Your attorney can assist you if you have any questions about these requirements.
• Your Washington state driving abstract, which can be accessed online (ADR)
• A copy of your police report from the referring incident (which your attorney should provide)
• Your breathalyzer ticket or blood draw report (usually a part of your police report)
• Your urinalysis screening (UA), which is an alcohol/drug test taken at the time of the evaluation
Forgot something or couldn’t secure a document before your appointment? Not to worry!! We still provide you with a pending letter referencing that you were here and what exactly we need to complete the evaluation. This letter will serve you well in court if the actual evaluation could not be completed.
3. Be on time.
Please be on time. If you show up later than when your appointment is scheduled, you run the risk of not being seen and having to reschedule for a later date.
We recognize your time is valuable, and we want to help provide prompt service to ensure that you are prepared for your upcoming court date. If you are on time and have all your documents, there is a greater chance of your evaluation being completed onsite opposed to having to wait for it.
4. Know what to expect.
You’ll see an administrator first, who gathers all your information. You will then see the counselor once you have completed all your intake documents, and you have provided the required drug screening (UA).
There are several hundred questions the counselor will ask you. These are proven clinical assessment questions. They are the main reason it takes at least an hour to complete the evaluation.
After the evaluation session, we will give you pending letter. This interim document proves you have been through the assessment while we are preparing our official recommendation for your attorney.
The official assessment which you will receive and which we will submit to your attorney will include but is not limited to:
• Assessment recommendation
• A summary of the questions you were asked
• A summary of the documents that we reviewed
If this is your first DUI, Washington law has already set the mandatory outcome–an eight-hour class. So there’s no pass or fail involved. We’re here to help you move forward in your court proceedings’ process.
We understand agitation, nervousness, anxiety, and depression are common side effects of a DUI arrest. If you’re experiencing these emotions, it’s only natural. It may help you relax to know that ABHC is a medical facility and is in no way connected to the courts. Whatever information you provide is protected under the federal confidentiality act. We will not release it without your written consent.
It will help you relax if you focus on getting a good night’s sleep before your appointment. Eat a nourishing breakfast. Come to the evaluation with a positive attitude. Arrive sober!
6. Embrace your past.
Being open about your past helps us reach the most accurate conclusions. You are at higher risk for mishandling alcohol and drugs if there’s a family history of alcohol or drug use. Other factors from your past can also be important–a divorce or death in the family, for example.
Our DUI Evaluations are the first step toward a court mandated treatment programs. Honesty, openness, and cooperation will help you benefit from your DUI assessment.
So come with all your documents. Arrive on time. We strive at doing our best to keep your DUI Assessment a positive experience!