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What Happens If I Get a DUI?

17-Feb-2015 By Helen Strickland, LPC, LADC, LADA

Google DUI in Oklahoma and the vast majority of what you find are thinly veiled solicitations from lawyers who would love to help you through this troubling time. Undoubtedly, most are providing vital legal counsel. Certainly, most people aren’t planning on being charged with D.U.I.. In Oklahoma, there are approximately 13,000 DUI arrests each year. While the dangers and consequences for victims of drunk driving are clearly tragic, most do not realize the impact to the person charged as well. It is not inexpensive, quick, or easy to navigate the path. As both a Licensed Alcohol Drug Counselor, and a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Assessor, I want to outline what that process is like. This might dispel some myths and hearsay surrounding the process. First, you must obtain a Drug/Alcohol evaluation from a state certified assessor. Most facilities require that you make an appointment. The session usually can be completed within two hours. It consists of looking at your substance abuse patterns and history in addition to completing substance abuse tests. The fee for this assessment is set at $160 by the State of Oklahoma.

The result of this assessment will indicate the best program to help you to minimize the probability that you will reoffend and receive another DUI. The levels of referral range from a 10 hour substance abuse course and a victim’s impact panel all the way up to inpatient treatment for substance abuse. The victim’s impact panel is a panel of people who share their experiences as a result of alcohol abuse and DUI. Some have hurt or killed someone or have lost loved ones to DUI. This is a powerful experience for the offender. This is a one-time session and lasts about 2 hours. The state mandated fee for this is $60. The assessor will make additional recommendations including substance abuse classes, individual counseling, victim’s impact panels, or inpatient treatment. While counseling fees vary, the classes range from $150-$360 and, again, is set by the state. The cost of inpatient treatment also varies.

People often assume they only need to fulfill court requirements. Be aware that the justice system and the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety are separate entities. Often the requirements are the same, but there is no requirement. It is always the responsibility of the person charged to follow up and complete all requirements.

I sincerely believe that the intent is to identify patterns of abuse and intervene through education and counseling along with punitive measures in order to save lives. Edmond Family Counseling is Edmond’s professional counseling agency and provides a full range of mental health services including DUI/ADSAC programs. Please support our agency with your tax-deductible donation. www.edmondfamily.org.

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