When a driver is charged and convicted of driving under the influence (DUI), it can be a traumatic and life-changing experience for that person.
There are many repercussions, and drivers are often required to undergo a court-ordered clinical evaluation to address drug and alcohol issues.
The attorneys at Katz & Phillips, P.A. are among the few licensed DUI defense attorneys in Orlando, Florida. For more information, please call us at (321) 332-6864.
In the context of a DUI offense, a clinical evaluation allows a licensed clinical substance abuse professional to evaluate a person’s relationship with drugs and alcohol thoroughly.
Specifically, the therapist will conduct a series of tests and questionnaires that help them understand a person’s drug and alcohol consumption.
Clinical evaluations almost always include a psychosocial assessment of the offending driver.
Clinicians use these assessments to understand the driver’s health, psychological, and social well-being.
In some cases, DUI results from chronic issues with drug and alcohol dependence or abuse.
Thus, a psychosocial evaluation can help determine whether the driver’s actions were an isolated incident or the behavior is the result of a more significant issue with alcohol or drugs.
Another test often utilized during a clinical evaluation is the Driver Risk Inventory (DRI). The DRI is a standardized, nationally recognized test to assess a driver’s risk of consuming drugs or alcohol and operating a vehicle after a DUI offense.
The DRI is administered in a 30-minute questionnaire that determines a driver’s abuse of intoxicating substances, risk of driving, truthfulness, and ability to cope with stress.
Because DUI programs are required under Florida state law, all DUI offenders must attend a substance abuse evaluation. The evaluation primarily focuses on whether the driver exhibits signs of substance abuse to the point of addiction.
Once completed, the evaluation allows clinicians to provide a comprehensive view of the driver’s status with certain substances and recommend treatment.
In some cases, the treatment plan may not include anything more than the attendance of a certified DUI course.
However, in other cases, treatment recommendations may include long-term treatment for habitual substance use and addiction.
DUI substance abuse evaluations usually recommend a treatment plan for the driver, which can include the following forms of treatment:
In some DUI cases, a court may order the revocation of a person’s license. This means that the driver convicted of DUI is no longer allowed to legally operate a motor vehicle for a certain period of time, which can be months to years.
Typically, revocation occurs when a driver is convicted of multiple DUI offenses.
A driver who has had their license revoked after multiple DUI offenses may attempt to have their license reinstated.
Reinstatement occurs when the driver successfully completes a DUI program and undergoes a psychosocial evaluation separate from the program.
If the evaluation determines the driver can safely and legally operate a motor vehicle, then the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Department (FHSMVD) can reinstate the license after a specific time period.
With guidance and advocacy from the expert Orlando DUI defense attorneys with Katz & Phillips, P.A., a person undergoing clinical evaluation can ensure their rights are protected under the law. Contact us today for a consultation or call (321) 332-6864.