April 4, 2015

Sometimes the Treatment for an Oklahoma DUI Conviction Can Seem Like Punishment Itself- Oklahoma DUI Defense

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Conviction based on a violation of Oklahoma’s DUI laws carries with it a number of penalties, which vary in severity based on factors such as whether the conviction is for a first-time or subsequent offense or the degree of intoxication. Penalties can include sanctions like fines, community service, jail time, or the requirement to have an ignition interlock device installed in his or her vehicle. The home page of our Oklahoma DUI Defense website contains the text of the law as it pertains to drunk driving and its legal consequences.

One additional consequence of an Oklahoma DUI conviction, receiving a deferred sentence, or losing your Oklahoma driver’s license that may not be as well-known as the penalties mentioned above is the requirement to participate in an alcohol and drug substance evaluation and assessment program. Unlike a term in jail or a monetary penalty, this requirement is not necessarily intended to be a form of punishment as much as a form of treatment. But as we will see on closer examination, sometimes when the criminal justice system seeks to help you the experience can feel like something else entirely.

As a starting point, any alcohol and drug assessment must be performed by persons and organizations that are officially certified to perform them. This certification requires whomever administers the assessment to comply with a multitude of regulatory requirements which can quickly become burdensome and intrusive to the person being evaluated. As an example of this, consider the Alcohol and Drug Substance Abuse Course (ADSAC) participant evaluation, which consists of:

A formal intake interview performed in a clinical setting. Here, you will be required to provide socio-demographic information about yourself as well as answer questions about your personal history. You will also need to complete an Addiction Severity Index, which will be scored.The evaluation will also delve into your driving record, your history of alcohol and drug use, past treatment, and past drug-related arrests.

That may sound tedious to have to undergo, but it is only the beginning. You will also be subject to a “biopsychsocial assessment,” an Orwellian-sounding name for a formal interview that will go into even more minute details of your personal life. The assessor will seek to uncover your medical conditions, your family and social history, your cultural and religious orientations, your marriage history and your living arrangements, your finances, your school background, your health history, any mental health treatments you may have had, even your recreational and leisure time preferences.

This psychological and inquisitory stripping-down of your personal privacy is meant to “help” you, and will be the foundation to determine what kind of specific treatment courses and programs that you will be required to undergo. But you may be excused for being reluctant to undergo such an intimate form of assistance. If you are required to go through one, we have assessors that will treat you with respect for your privacy.

There is no way to get around going through the ADSAC if you have been convicted of an Oklahoma DUI offense or lose your Oklahoma driver’s license.  The only way to avoid it is to not be convicted if you stand accused of such an offense. This, in turn, can depend heavily on your choice of legal counsel to represent you in court.  For more information, contact the Oklahoma DUI Lawyers at the Hunsucker Legal Group.


See also Title 450, Chapter 22 of the DPS statute.


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The acronyms DUI, DWI, OMVI and OVI all refer to the same thing: operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The most commonly used terms are DUI, an acronym for Driving Under the Influence, and DWI, an acronym for Driving While Impaired.
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