Tips From Our DWI Lawyer For Passing An Alcohol Assessment In Houston
Whenever you receive an alcohol-related offense, like a DUI, an alcohol assessment might be given. It typically involves both an in-person interview and physical drug screening. Your counselor might suggest rehabilitation or therapy from a couple of weeks to more than one year based on your assessment results. If you would like to increase the chances of being able to pass your assessment, you should stop all drug use and drinking as soon as you can, establish good references located near you, and show up to the assessment prepared, clean, and sober.
How To Pass The Substance Test
1. Stop Using All Drugs 2 Weeks At Least Before The Assessment
Even if your assessment is for alcohol abuse, you might also be tested for other drugs. It is critical to go into the assessment completely clean. A majority of drugs will leave your system in 2 weeks. However, there are others, like some depressants and marijuana that take longer when they are used frequently. It is best to stop any drug use as soon as an assessment has been ordered.
2. Stop Drinking Alcohol For One Full Day At Least Before Your Assessment Takes Place
The earlier that you stop drinking, the better. At the very minimum, stop drinking all alcohol 12 hours at least before the assessment to give it time to be eliminated from your system.
3. Avoid Detoxing From The Use Of Heavy Alcohol At Home
If you think that detoxing from alcohol is necessary, it is best to seek out professional help to guide you through this process. Quite often detoxing at home is unsuccessful and could even be dangerous in some situations. If cutting back or stopping drink leads to any physical symptoms like tremors, you might be chemically dependent on alcohol. If you are concerned about experiencing withdrawal or if in the past you experienced this when you reduced your drinking, then you might need to get professional help before you can pass an assessment.
4. Do Not Consume Anything That Can Cause A False Positive
Decongestants (ephedrine) and poppy seed are two consumed substances that can commonly create false positive with certain drug tests. In order to play it safe, avoid consuming those things for a couple of days at least before having your assessment. Also, it is a good idea to take written documentation with you for any medications you are currently taking.
If you think the results are false, ask for a second opinion.
It is unlikely, however, in certain situations, your substance test might not be accurate. Some states will allow you to ask for an independent second opinion. However, you might have to pay for it to be done.
How To Answer Questions At The Assessment
1. Review Samples Questions Online Ahead Of Time
It can be useful to have a good idea of what you can expect when going in for an assessment. There are several online alcohol assessment self-evaluation quizzes that are available. Take a couple and prepare answers for some of the more likely questions.
Most likely the questions will focus on the circumstances and frequency of your drinking, the effects your drinking has on those you are close to and your obligations and your alcohol use history.
2. Consult With A Lawyer Prior To The Assessment
Speaking to a lawyer who is experienced with alcohol assessments before going in is a good idea. They can provide guidance on what you can expect and the best way to answer these questions. Most states offer online directories for legal services providing free counsel if you are unable to afford to hire a lawyer.
3. Figure Out Who Your References Are And Speak To Them In Advance
In a majority of alcohol assessments, 2 or 3 individuals who are close to you are interviewed about your general conduct and alcohol use. Choose individuals who know you very well and who can provide a positive honest account. If they were involved with any situations that led up to the assessment, be sure you agree with the details.
Sometimes, the contacts are chosen for you. They will most likely be people close to you in your social life, home, or work.
4. Give Straight-forward, Brief Answers
You might be tempted to give really elaborate answers to questions you are being asked. However, the fewer details that you provide, the better. When your answers are brief, it will also make the assessment progress more quickly.
5. Be Honest
Stretching the truth or lying during an alcohol assessment might make your situation much worse if it is discovered. Dishonesty is considered to be a strong indication of substance abuse and won’t make the assessment turn in your favor.
In the long run, it is best for you and those close to you, for you to be honest about the relationship you have with alcohol and get help if you really need it.
How To Make A Good Impression
1. Stop Drinking As Quickly As Possible
Even if the assessment will not be taking place for several weeks or days after you have been initially sentenced, it is still a good idea to stop drinking or significantly cut back until the assessment is complete. If you drink, do it at home. Counselors, judges, and other professionals who are involved with your case might find out if you drink in public excessively.
2. Show Up To The Assessment On Time
That will demonstrate that you are responsible and also show respect for the individuals who are part of the assessment. Check to make sure you know when your assessment is taking place, allow yourself plenty of time to arrive without having to rush.
3. Gather Up Any Necessary Documents Prior To The Assessment
You will be informed of the documents that you need to provide at the assessment. That can include offense-related documents like probation papers, incident reports, driving records, and tickets.
4. Wear Professional, Clean Clothes To The Assessment
Although it isn’t necessary to wear a suit and tie, it is very important to wear appropriate clothing to an assessment. Be sure to wear something modest that is free of tears, wrinkles, and stains.
Good choices are a knee-length skirt or slacks and a button-up shirt.
5. Be Respectful To Everybody You Interact With At The Assessment
You might think having to go through with the assessment is unfair, or it might be inconvenient for you. However, you will achieve the best results if you act respectful and polite. Be professional and positive, and treat everybody courteously that you speak to during your assessment.