DUI Evaluation

In July of 1997 the Georgia State Legislature activated a law mandating a clinical evaluation to assess the need for alcohol and/or drug treatment, for anyone getting a second DUI conviction within 5 years. The DUI Risk-Reduction Program is administered by the Georgia Department of Human Resources (DHR).

The State of Georgia trains and certifies therapists to administer the Clinical Evaluations, and to provide state-mandated "ASAM Level I Treatment" (if that is recommended by an evaluation). (ASAM is the American Society of Addiction Medicine.) The same therapist cannot perform the Clinical Evaluation and provide the recommended treatment to a DUI offender.

The DUI offender who pleads "no contest" or guilty, or who is found guilty by the Court, must attend a DUI School for 20 hours, and then must obtain a Clinical Evaluation from a state-approved clinician. The DUI School will have a list of approved clinicians. It is essential that the DUI School be completed first, and that the pre-test (called the SALCE) results be mailed or faxed to the Clinical Evaluator before the date of the evaluation. The DUI School may charge up to $10 for sending the SALCE results.

The DUI Clinical Evaluation is required in order to obtain a limited driving permit (to get to and from work, school and/or treatment) after the minimum 4 months of license suspension. Successful completion of a mandated treatment program is usually required in order to get the full license reinstated. Completion of a program means more than just attending a certain number of weeks; the therapist must feel that inner changes are happening and a commitment to sobriety is being worked on.

The State of Georgia uses the American Society of Addiction Medicine's (ASAM) criteria to determine the type of treatment that is appropriate. "ASAM Level I" is outpatient group or individual therapy, meeting a minimum of three hours a week, for a minimum of 17 weeks. "ASAM Level II.1" is a group experience that meets a minimum of 9 hours a week for a minimum of 17 weeks. The therapists's clinical judgement determines when treatment is completed - treatment may last for up to a year under this program.