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In any Whatcom County criminal case involving drugs or alcohol, an evaluation will very likely be part of the recommendation by the prosecutor and a requirement by the Court. Additionally, if you have had your license suspended by the Department of Licensing resulting from a DUI, Physical Control or Minor DUI arrest, you will need to complete an alcohol evaluation and ADIS class to reinstate your driving privilege. The primary goal of the evaluation is to help the Whatcom County courts determine if the participant has an alcohol or drug problem. If the evaluation determines there to be a dependence issue, the level of dependence then determines the significance of treatment.
The outcome of the alcohol drug evaluation may result in a recommendation of performing the alcohol drug information school (ADIS), the ADIS class and several classes, or in extreme cases several months of treatment. The Courts in Whatcom County will demand you complete the recommended course of class(es) and/or treatment.
An alcohol drug evaluation is an important piece of a very complicated DUI puzzle. Completing an evaluation early may assist with successful negotiation of your case and even reduce the costs and length of probation. It is important to do it properly and this video is a great place to start.
Even though you may have been arrested for DUI in Whatcom County, this does not mean you have any issues with alcohol or drugs. However, an evaluation is mandatory so do it right and do it early.
The Law requires you to complete, at the very least, an alcohol drug information school (ADIS). This is an 8-hour class and many local treatment agencies offer the class weekly.
It is very important to complete the evaluation early. Obviously be prepared and consult with your Whatcom County criminal defense attorney, but early will save you money!
While a criminal violation such as a DUI in Whatcom County by itself may not be a sign of a true substance abuse problem, Whatcom County District Court or Bellingham Municipal Court and the Department of Licensing (if your license is suspended as a result of the DUI arrest) will require a professional opinion regarding whether or not the accused individual has an issue with alcohol or drugs. The purpose of the alcohol drug evaluation is to determine the extent of the defendant's alcohol and/or drug use and its associated risk to current or future public safety. The following areas are reviewed: the defendant's driving history, chemical test results (blood alcohol content), Objective Test score and category, and the interview with an evaluator.
The focus of the interview by the evaluator is past and current alcohol and drug use and how this use or misuse relates to driving or criminal history. Defendant responses are confirmed with proof provided to the treatment center of the individual’s driving abstract and criminal history (DCH – defendant case history), the Objective Test score, the results of the chemical testing, and possibly other corroborative sources.
Inconsistencies reported in the interview by the individual must be reconciled between the defendant and the evaluator. It’s important to be honest, particularly when there is proof of driving issues or substance abuse.
When the evaluation is completed, a diagnosis and recommendation will be determined by the evaluator and the evaluation will be forwarded to the attorney of record and the Washington State Department of Licensing.
RCW 46.61.5056 - Alcohol violators — Information school — Evaluation and treatment.
(1) A person subject to alcohol assessment and treatment under RCW 46.61.5055 shall be required by the court to complete a course in an alcohol information school approved by the department of social and health services or to complete more intensive treatment in a program approved by the department of social and health services, as determined by the court. The court shall notify the department of licensing whenever it orders a person to complete a course or treatment program under this section.
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