Court-Mandated DUI: What You Can Expect
In all 50 states, driving under the influence (DUI) is considered a crime. Ironically, DUI is also one of the most frequently committed crimes in the United States. At least a third of substance-related arrests are DUI arrests. For individuals with drinking problems, court-mandated DUI treatment is deemed the path of entry into alcoholism treatment.
The following issues are considered pertinent to court-mandated DUI treatment:
- DUI events as intervention opportunities
- Short interventions (for those offenders outside of the mandated treatment)
- Cost-effectiveness of the mandated treatment
To some extent, the effectiveness of the treatment will depend on the motivation of the offender to participate. While unfortunate to note, some offenders resist treatment as they feel like their participation is coerced.
Treatments like motivational enhancement therapy have been proven cost-effective for involuntary participants. However, additional research is needed to look into multi-drug use, impaired driving, and recent technologies that can monitor DUI offenders effectively.
Court-mandated mediations for DUI offenses can vary in intensity, frequency, and duration. For instance, it can range from one (or more) sessions or consist of multi-component programs that are carried out over several weeks or even months.
DUI offenders mandated to treatment by the courts are typically required to participate in different alcoholism treatment programs. Some DUI mandated interventions include:
- Referral to groups like Alcoholic Anonymous (AA)
- Generic alcoholism treatment programs (usually offered in local communities)
- Education programs
- Supervised probation
- Presentations by families of deceased victims or injured survivors of DUI crashes
If you are a DUI offender that’s mandated to get intervention and treatment, you will be evaluated for personal circumstances and problems that need to be addressed during the treatment and intervention process. Screening refers to the evaluation that is designed to assess your risk level.
Often, the assessment results are used to identify the type of intervention needed and the intensity and length of the treatment chosen. One of the main goals of extensive treatment is to ensure that the most apt intervention and treatment are provided while considering the offender’s specific circumstances.
The assessment will also be included in the intervention process to ensure your problems are addressed accordingly. In some instances, your individual characteristics (i.e., your tendency to take certain risks while driving) and your comorbid conditions (i.e., anxiety or depression) are considered for the treatment to be successful.
Proper assessment, referral, and screening are also required to ensure that you will get the best possible outcome for your treatment.
A study of DUI crashes and events that have occurred over the years indicated that alcohol-specific interventions have effectively minimized alcohol-related driving and crashes. However, there are also some non-specific interventions like revoking the driver’s license that have been known to also make a lot of difference.
Many also believe that the best strategy is combining licensing action and treatment. This strategy has also been known to help significantly minimize overall driving exposure. The strategy is considered especially helpful for offenders that are considered high-risk even when not impaired.
The most effective strategy when it comes to DUI treatment is a combination of treatment and education. The treatment aspect can also include counseling or psychotherapy. Combining education and treatment is also considered more effective as offenders have diverse and complex problems. Providing various treatment options and approaches can help warrant all the bases are covered, and all the issues are addressed appropriately.
About the Author:
Lauren Kunis is the Content Marketing Strategist for Stonewall Institute, an outpatient alcohol and drug treatment center in Phoenix, Arizona that offers online DUI classes, DUI screenings, and a holistic, individualized approach to addiction recovery. She loves reading books, traveling, and going on hiking adventures with her dog, Max.