December 9, 2023
Following a DUI or DWI charge, it is not uncommon for a judge in Colorado to issue an order for an alcohol evaluation. An alcohol evaluation is one way for the court to determine whether or not your current rate of alcohol consumption makes you a risk to yourself or others and they are generally handled by treatment facilities, not police officers or legal personnel. Following an evaluation, the facility will present the results to the court, which will review them and will take them into consideration when determining your sentence.
While an alcohol evaluation may seem like an unnecessary nuisance for someone charged with a DUI, your results can be extremely important to the people responsible for determining your sentence. This means that if you are ordered to attend an alcohol evaluation, it is in your best interest to take it seriously and prepare adequately.
Tips for Your Alcohol Evaluation
Alcohol evaluations are an extremely important part of the DUI or DWI process. Even though you may feel that an alcohol evaluation is uncalled-for, if the court decides that you must be evaluated, unfortunately you will not have much of a choice in the matter. At that point, you just have to do it.
But the good news is that process does not have to be painful. In fact, it can go pretty smoothly. In order to make the most of your alcohol evaluation, follow these few simple rules:
- Present yourself nicely. The point of an evaluation is for counselors to evaluate you. That means they will be judging everything about you, from the way you walk to the way you look at them. Make sure to dress and act professionally, and treat everyone you speak to with respect.
- Be honest. Do not try to lie to the counselor performing the evaluation—chances are that he or she has seen it all before. Plus, since your attitude is also being evaluated, honesty could earn you some brownie points here.
- Stop drinking. This might sound excessive, but if you stop drinking as soon as you know that you are going to be evaluated, it will demonstrate to the counselors and the court that you are serious about your sobriety and that you recognize the severity of your crime.
Along those lines, you may also want to get a head start on any classes that might be court-mandated. If it is certain that you are going to wind up with a mandate demanding that you take certain classes, get started on them right away. This too will demonstrate to the officers how serious and repentant you are.
With so much riding on them, DUI and DWI charges can be extremely frightening. Your good name is on the line and you may be facing years of jail time and thousands of dollars worth of fines. If you are facing a DUI charge, even the smallest step—like wearing a tie to your alcohol evaluation or signing up early for court-mandated classes—can make a huge difference in your sentencing.
If you are facing a DUI charge, don’t go it alone. A knowledgeable attorney can help not only further prepare you for an alcohol evaluation, but will also be able to assist you in building up a strong defense. Before you speak to anyone about your DUI charge, contact a DUI lawyer with a track record of success to discuss your options.
About the Author:
Denver-based criminal defense and DUI attorney Jacob E. Martinez is a knowledgeable and experienced litigator with a record of success providing innovative solutions to clients facing criminal charges of any severity. Mr. Martinez has been designated a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers and has been awarded both the Avvo Client’s Choice Award and Avvo Top Attorney designation, evidencing his reputation for his exemplary criminal and DUI defense work and high moral standards.