Alcohol Treatment for DUI: What You Need to Know
Driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal in every state in the United States. Those who are found operating a vehicle with blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher face consequences, which may include fines, license suspension, court-ordered in-person or online DUI class, and or jail-time.
A DUI charge has the potential to alter the course of a person’s life. After the arrest, offenders are often released with a court date and will need to hire a DUI lawyer to represent them during their scheduled court appearance. In most DUI cases, the offender is compelled to complete a rehabilitation program as part of the sentence. Enrolling in a DUI school may also help a person avoid jail time.
Rehab Options for a DUI Charge
Due to the high rate of repeat offenders, most judges opt to help individuals with DUI charges instead of sending them to jail. Before the person is prosecuted, the court may either compel them to enroll in DUI school or offer them the option to voluntarily submit themselves to a substance abuse treatment program.
Whether it’s court-ordered or voluntary, it’s in the defendant’s best interest to enlist in a professional drug or alcohol recovery program prior to their trial. This is an effective way to communicate to the judge that he/she is serious about addressing the issues. After completing the diversion program and based on the results, the judge may reduce the sentence or dismiss the case altogether.
Court-ordered DUI treatment enables drug or alcohol dependent individuals to address underlying issues and dysfunction while under judicial supervision. The program may take the form of in-patient rehabilitation, out-patient rehabilitation, online classes, individual therapy, group therapy, or a combination of these methods.
During the course of the treatment, substance abuse and mental health professionals help people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol overcome their addiction and reintegrate them into society as healthy and productive citizens.
Failure to Comply with DUI Treatment Program
If a DUI offender fails to complete a court-mandated DUI treatment, they will likely end up back in court for a probation violation hearing. The judge may also revoke their eligibility for the diversion program and subject them to a resentencing with much harsher penalties.
Moreover, the offender’s license and driving privileges may not be reinstated unless he/she has successfully completed the evaluation and treatment program.
Paying for Court-Ordered Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment
Drug and alcohol addiction treatment can cost between a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on the program you have to take. And despite the fact that this is a court-mandated treatment, it is usually up to the person receiving the sentence to pay for it. You may, however, check if your insurance can supplement the out-of-pocket costs.
If you really can’t cover the expenses, there are free or low-cost rehab programs for people who qualify. Still, private programs are deemed to provide access to better treatments and therapies, and have much higher rates of success.
Is Court-Ordered Treatment for Alcohol Addiction Effective?
Compared to incarceration and probation, experts believe that rehabilitation and treatment is better for the offender as well as the public’s overall health and safety. This approach is proven to be highly effective, especially in programs that last for at least three months.
Treating alcohol addiction in a rehab facility can be more effective because these programs provide holistic treatment. They do not only aim to solve the issue at hand, but also address the individual’s underlying health and social concerns.
Still, anybody undergoing drug or alcohol treatment can greatly benefit from having a strong support network of family, friends, and other people in their lives who are willing to assist them in their journey to sobriety.
About the Author
Lauren Kunis is the Content Marketing Strategist for Stonewall Institute, an outpatient alcohol and drug treatment center that focuses on holistic, individualized approach to addiction recovery. She loves reading books, traveling, and going on hiking adventures with her dog Max.Read More
DUI in New Mexico comes with harsh penalties no one will want to face. Read this short post from Bowles Law Firm now to learn more.
It is often said, but cannot be overemphasized, that no one should drink or drug and drive. The costs and penalties for DUI in New Mexico are incredibly high and far too many tragic, and deadly outcomes, occur almost daily across the country.
In New Mexico and Texas, it is unlawful to drive a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana, alcohol, other drugs, or a combination of substances. When alcohol is involved, a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent of the driver’s blood, will presumptively establish that the driver is under the influence. If the level is less, the prosecutor can still point to the driver’s actions to prove that he or she was under the influence. This can include the officer’s observations of driving behavior such as weaving or speeding, and if the driver consents to standard field sobriety tests, the officer’s observations of how the tests were performed, and other observations such as bloodshot and/or watery eyes, odor of alcohol or marijuana, and whether the driver made any admissions to drinking or using controlled substances.
When marijuana is involved, any amount of active marijuana metabolites in the driver’s blood or urine while he or she was driving may establish that the driver was impaired or driving under the influence. (N.M. Stat. Ann. § 66-8-102.); (Texas Stat. and Code Ann. § 49.01.). However, the prosecution will still have to show “impairment.” New Mexico and Texas are not “per se” violation states, whereby a driver is automatically determined to be impaired if any marijuana is found in their system.
A blood test may detect the presence of THC in your system but it is more significant for what such a test does not reveal:
- Unlike alcohol, the test cannot reveal when you used the drug or at least within a few hours
- It is not a reliable test of how much you ingested or smoked
- There is no consensus on how much marijuana in your system indicates you are impaired when driving
The high from marijuana use occurs shortly after using it and can last for a few hours. Because marijuana is fat-soluble, inactive metabolites remain in your body for hours or days after use depending on whether you are chronic or occasional user. If used occasionally, it can remain for 12 hours. If you are a chronic user, it can last from 2 to 30 days. The presence of marijuana metabolites in one’s blood stream, in and of itself, may or may not be evidence of driving impairment.
NEW MEXICO PENALTIES FOR DUI
For a conviction, DUI penalties vary according to whether the offense is a first or subsequent conviction, with additional penalties for “aggravated” convictions. Aggravated DUI convictions are offenses that also caused bodily harm to a person other than the driver, or offenses where the driver refused to submit to a chemical test when arrested.
- First conviction. Fine of up to $500, and up to 24 hours of community service, or both. Up to 90 days jail. Ignition interlock device for one year.
- Second conviction. Fine of between $500 and $1,000, at least 96 hours (and up to one year) in jail, and at least 48 hours of community service. The judge will also order the defendant to participate in court-approved drug or alcohol abuse screening program, and an ignition interlock device for two years.
- Third conviction. Fine of between $750 and $1,000, mandatory 30 days (and up to one year) in jail, and at least 96 hours of community service. The judge will also order the defendant to participate in court-approved drug or alcohol abuse screening program, and an ignition interlock device for three years.
- Fourth conviction (felony). Fine of up to $5,000, mandatory six months in jail (and up to 18 months in prison), or both. The judge will also order the defendant to participate in court-approved drug or alcohol abuse screening program, and to permanently use an ignition interlock device (defendant may petition the judge for removal of the device after five years).
- Fifth conviction (felony). Fine of up to $5,000, mandatory two years in prison, or both. The judge will also order the defendant to participate in court-approved drug or alcohol abuse screening program, and permanent ignition interlock device (defendant may petition the judge for removal of the device after five years).
- Sixth conviction (felony). Fine of up to $5,000, mandatory 30 months in prison, or both. The judge will also order the defendant to participate in court-approved drug or alcohol abuse screening program, and permanently ignition interlock device (defendant may petition the judge for removal of the device after five years).
- Seventh and subsequent convictions (felony). Fine of up to $5,000, mandatory three years in prison, or both. The judge will also order the defendant to participate in court-approved drug or alcohol abuse screening program, and permanent ignition interlock device (defendant may petition the judge for removal of the device after five years).
- Aggravated offenses. In addition to the above penalties, additional jail time will apply to aggravated offenses. First offenses carry at least an additional 48 hours of jail time; at least 96 hours for second offenses; and at least six additional days in jail for third or subsequent offense.
In conclusion, you do not want to take DUI in New Mexico lightly. This is a serious offense that should be avoided at all costs.
TEXAS PENALTIES FOR DUI
For a conviction in Texas, penalties vary according to whether the offense is a first of subsequent conviction, with increased penalties for offenses committed while a minor was in the vehicle. (Texas Stat. and Code Ann. § 49.04.)
- First conviction. Fine of up to $2,000, between 72 hours and 180 days in jail, or both; between 24 and 100 hours of community service, and up to one year of license suspension.
- Second conviction. Fine of up to $4,000, between 30 days and one year in jail, or both; between 80 and 200 hours of community service, and between 180 days and two years of license suspension.
- Third and subsequent convictions. Fine of up to $10,000, between two and ten years in prison, or both; between 160 and 600 hours of community service, and between 180 days and two years of license suspension.
If you are driving while intoxicated with a child younger than 15 years old in your vehicle, you face:
- Up to a $10,000 fine.
- Jail time up to 2 years.
- License suspension for 180 days.
In conclusion, the penalties for DUI in New Mexico are harsh and should not be taken lightly. It is important to find a DUI attorney who understands the client’s unique situation and can be there in times of uncertainty and adversity. Bowles Law Firm is never afraid to stand up and fight for every client in even the most difficult of circumstances.
If you or someone you know is seeking an attorney, contact Bowles Law Firm for a free case evaluation.Read More
It is important to make careful considerations when hiring an attorney to represent you. Read the top 4 tips below in order to make sure you hire the appropriate attorney for your unique situation.
1) Do I need a Lawyer?
First, ask yourself whether you need a lawyer and think through your problem and issues.
- Think about whether you can solve the problem on your own or if you truly need a lawyer. Sometimes, this will be easy. For example, if you are charged with a crime, you NEED a lawyer and sooner rather than later. Other problems won’t be so immediate, however.
- Numerous lawyers provide free consultations on initial visits, so take advantage of that consultation to further define the problem(s) and determine if you need a lawyer.
2) Finding the Right Lawyer for You
Not every lawyer is going to be a good fit for you, and you won’t be a good fit for every lawyer.
- Ask your friends and family for referrals for a lawyer who is reputable.
- Research online, including google searches and review the lawyer’s website to determine what his/her experience level is and get a feel for the lawyer’s background.
- Consider interviewing 2-3 lawyers before you make your decision, to decide who seems like the best “fit” for you, will be most committed to your case, is competent, and will have the time to help you.
3) Hiring a Lawyer
Relying on referrals and your own research, select a few lawyers who seem appropriate for your situation and conduct interviews.
- Before interviewing, ask the lawyer or staff whether you can have a free initial consultation.
- During the interview, get the lawyer’s thoughts on your situation, his/her experience and familiarity with the type of problem, and if you are potentially interested, ask for an engagement letter describing the scope of the lawyer’s services, and how costs and fees are determined.
- Make sure you have a clear understanding of the role of the attorney, and the fees and costs you will be charged is very important at the start of the relationship.
- Carefully review the engagement letter, and if you have questions, make sure you ask them and get a clear understanding of the terms of the representation.
4) During the Representation
Make sure you establish clear lines of communication with the lawyer and staff as well as what method of communication is best. Lawyers are sometimes in court, or out of town, and so you will need to communicate with staff members as well. If you have questions or problems, be proactive and make an appointment to speak about them
You are paying for the service and deserve to be kept apprised of developments in your case. You should make sure you invest time and effort into the lawyer/client relationship so that the lawyer and his/her office do a great job representing your interests.