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Understanding Alcohol Evaluations in Colorado

Alcohol evaluations are an important part of the process for anyone facing a DUI or DWAI charge in Colorado. This type of evaluation looks at the individual's relationship to alcohol and provides information that can help determine their need for further assessment and treatment.

Understand how probation evaluators work and get the best outcome for yourself.

It's important to understand how probation evaluators make their recommendations, so you can prepare beforehand and present your best case. Typically, the evaluator will look at your driving history (especially any other violations) as well as any documented previous treatment for alcohol use. Furthermore, they may also consider any current legal or criminal issues, substance abuse habits, mental health concerns, family background information, and age. Additionally, the evaluator will observe things such as attitude and willingness to participate in an evaluation.

What is an Alcohol Evaluation?

An alcohol evaluation is a process that assesses an individual's level of risk for potential problems related to alcohol or drug use. It includes an assessment of past alcohol and drug history, as well as current lifestyle, attitude, and social situation. The results of the evaluation guide the probation officer in making or recommending an appropriate sentencing option for DUI or DWAI offenses in Colorado.

Who Are Qualified Evaluators in Colorado?

A qualified evaluator is someone who has specialized training and experience in making alcohol-related assessments. The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) certifies counselors, social workers, psychologists, and addictions professionals to complete these evaluations. While all have the same educational qualifications, they may differ in their approach to assessment and to formulating recommendations.

What Does the Alcohol Evaluation Entail?

The alcohol evaluation typically consists of an interview and a psychological assessment, such as the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) or the Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory (SASSI). The evaluator will ask questions about background information, substance use, family history, psychological problems, and other behaviors. The same evaluator may provide treatment recommendations or referrals to other providers based on the results of the assessment.

The Court decides who is a Qualified Evaluator

In Colorado, an alcohol evaluation must be conducted by a qualified evaluator who is approved by the court or DUI review board. These specialists are trained, certified professionals who understand the nuances of alcohol intoxication and its consequences. The evaluator will take into account criminal history and other relevant factors when determining an appropriate course of treatment or referral.

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