An alcohol assessment and evaluation will be required when you have been arrested for DUI in Washington State. In fact, it is recommended you complete a substance abuse evaluation as soon as possible after your drunk driving arrest. Sooner or later you will receive notice to attend an arraignment hearing, and it is possible you can be placed in jail at that hearing. You want to be prepared so that does not happen. Obtaining an alcohol assessment demonstrates to the court that you are taking this matter serious and doing everything possible to remain a good citizen.
Further, your DUI defense attorney will need to negotiate a case settlement offer with the prosecuting attorney. Prosecutors like to hear that you are already completing many steps proving you are responsible. One of those steps is obtaining an alcohol assessment. They are interested in protecting the community and they want to review the findings and treatment recommendations of the assessment before giving any reduction in charge. Any experienced DUI lawyer will instruct you complete the assessment as soon as possible.
If you do enter into a legal settlement or go to trial and you are found guilty the judge at the sentencing hearing will command you to obtain an alcohol assessment. It helps that you can counter, “Your Honor I have already completed that task, and I have (or are in the process of) complying with the assessment recommendations.” At the sentencing hearing you want the judge to be as happy as possible and having this take completed will help.
If you are found to have no issues with drugs or alcohol you will be required to attend an Alcohol Information School. If it is determined that you require some form of substance abuse treatment then you will need to complete that treatment. Programs can range from three months, six months and up to two full years of treatment. It is critical you select the proper substance abuse agency to conduct your alcohol assessment.
Some agencies are quite “liberal” with their recommendations. Two years of treatment can cost as much as $6,000.00 so there is incentive on their part to suggest treatment. There are many agencies that will provide an honest and appropriate alcohol assessment and evaluation. Ask your defense attorney which substance abuse agency to utilize.