For many people, a court-ordered drug and alcohol evaluation can feel like a test they never wanted to take. But with the right information and legal help, you can find a way to make it work for you.
These evaluations involve biological, mental, historical, and personal elements. They are a mix of questions and tests, and in many cases, the results will include a recommendation for a treatment plan. Keep reading to find out what you need to know.
What Leads to a Court-Ordered Drug and Alcohol Evaluation?
One major reason why you might receive a court order for a drug and alcohol evaluation is if you’re defending yourself against a DUI charge. But this isn’t the only thing that will lead to a court-ordered evaluation.
You might also be defending yourself against a range of other charges, including disorderly conduct or possession of drugs or alcohol. If the evaluation goes well, this can help protect you. And even if not, you can use the recommendations from the evaluation to demonstrate improvement.
How to Pass a Drug and Alcohol Evaluation
Be honest with your evaluator. This might seem daunting, but it’s much better than the truth coming out later and suffering penalties as a result.
The evaluation will likely test for the last 24 hours in the case of alcohol consumption and the last month in the case of marijuana. As you can see from this difference in timing, marijuana tests are much less precise than alcohol tests. While you might test positive for marijuana consumption, the test won’t be able to pinpoint the exact date you smoked or ingested it.
So if you have some advance notice and want to pass these tests, you’ll need to abstain from alcohol and drugs for the relevant testable period. But be sure to contact your lawyer to figure out what you can and can’t say about the results.
What the Evaluation Can Tell You
Drug and alcohol evaluations will test for the presence of a variety of substances in your body, but those aren’t the only results.
Many drug evaluations will present a recommendation for treatment along with the biological results. Following these recommendations can show that you’re committed to your own recovery.
How the Evaluation Works
A full evaluation is more than just a drug test. It will likely include questions about your personal life, work history, and criminal history.
So don’t be surprised if your evaluator starts asking questions about previous run-ins with the law. These questions are a normal part of regular evaluations. Chances are, your evaluator isn’t trying to target you in particular.
The full evaluation will be a mix of body-based tests and these questions. Some people categorize these as “screening” vs. “assessment.”
The drug and alcohol evaluation cost might increase if you need the results within a day or so. But otherwise, a standard wait time would be around a week.
Go Ahead and Get Evaluated!
A court-ordered drug and alcohol evaluation is a multi-faceted experience. You might hear questions you never expected and see recommendations you don’t agree with at first. But there is a way to make it work for you.
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