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DUI Assessments and Treatment for Alcoholism

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DUI Evaluations and Treatment

One of the most difficult parts of addiction is admitting that there is a problem in the first place - this is where a DUI evaluation and treatment program come in.

We are committed to helping those struggling with alcoholism. That means assisting them with recognizing the signs and symptoms of addiction. It also includes getting them on the path to recovery, and developing the skills necessary to stay sober.

Being convicted of a DUI can be a scary, stressful experience but you don’t have to go through it alone. If you have been convicted and need a DUI evaluation, we are here to help.

DUI Counseling

Our counselors know how to recognize the problematic behaviors associated with alcohol abuse and addiction. Since it can be difficult to recognize this on your own, a DUI assessment may be the best step you can take toward determining the difference between addiction and enjoyment.

Through our DUI assessment, we can help you identify whether or not there is a problem, the extent of the problem, and the best way to go about treating it.

If we do find that you are struggling with a substance abuse disorder, our work does not stop there. Instead, we are equally committed to helping you treat and work through your alcoholism so that something as scary as a DUI conviction never happens again.

With this in mind, we include those who need treatment for a DUI or alcoholism in our intensive outpatient program. This program helps those struggling with addiction not only work through the consequences of their alcoholism, but also figure out how to manage it moving forward.

Northpoint Seattle offers the following services:

  • Assessment and testing for signs and symptoms of alcoholism
  • DUI evaluations, as mandated by Washington State
  • Alcoholism treatment
  • Intensive outpatient programs for addiction and alcoholism treatment
  • Support groups for overcoming alcoholism
  • One-on-one counseling for overcoming alcoholism
  • Resources for understanding alcohol addiction
  • Modern, comfortable treatment facilities
Free DUI Evaluation
DUI Rehab in Bellevue, WA

Your DUI Evaluation

One of the services offered at our treatment facility is a DUI evaluation. This is one of the first steps toward determining if you need addiction treatment following a DUI conviction.

In Washington State, a DUI conviction is often followed by a court-ordered DUI evaluation. Our mission with this service is to engage you with honest questions and answers about your drinking habits. This will not only help the court decide if treatment and alcohol education is a necessary consequence of a DUI, but it will also help you be honest with yourself about your potential for alcohol abuse.

DUI Evaluation

Undergoing a DUI evaluation may seem like a stressful experience, but our counselors are committed to making it as straightforward and as helpful as possible. As part of the evaluation, we will need a copy of your driving record, criminal history, and the officer’s arrest report. This will help us understand the entire picture and make the right recommendations for you.

Commonly Asked DUI Evaluation Questions

The exact evaluation process will look different for each individual case, but some of the questions that our counselors ask during the course of the evaluation include the following:

  • Do you feel that you drink a normal amount?
  • Does anyone close to you ever express concern about your drinking?
  • Can you stop drinking after just a couple of drinks?
  • Do you feel guilty about your drinking habits?
  • Have you ever attended an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meeting?
  • Have you ever experienced personal or professional problems as a result of your drinking?
  • Have you ever been arrested before for a DUI?

We’ll be honest: being convicted of a DUI reflects a very poor decision made on the day of the arrest. However, this alone is not necessarily a sign of a substance use disorder.

Signs of Alcoholism

In order to assess whether or not alcoholism is an issue for those being evaluated, counselors utilize the signs of alcoholism outlined by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. These include:

  • Ongoing neglect of family, work and personal responsibilities
  • Regularly using alcohol to relax, sleep, manage problems, feel normal, or cheer up
  • Withdrawal symptoms (i.e. anxiety or insomnia) when the drinking stops
  • Continually drinking alone, in the mornings, or secretively
  • A loss of control over drinking habits
  • Neglecting other activities in favor of drinking
  • Taking increasing risks
  • Building up a tolerance to the effects of alcohol
  • Continuing to abuse alcohol despite negative consequences, including a DUI conviction

Determining the prevalence of these signs and symptoms of alcohol dependency is at the core of our DUI evaluation process. We want to work with you in determining how alcohol abuse has affected your life and the lives of others, and then help you get on the path toward sobriety and recovery.

Your DUI Evaluation Process

Depending on the outcome of the DUI evaluation, you may decide to get treatment for alcoholism and addiction. Our treatment center can provide you with the help you need to overcome your dependency and the negative consequences that it brings. If you are interested in getting this treatment, you can find out more about our intensive outpatient program for alcoholism treatment below.

DUI Treatment Through Our Intensive Outpatient Program

If you have been convicted of a DUI, this most likely means that you have lost control of your drinking habits and become dependent on or even addicted to alcohol.

We are here to help with that. We address treatment for a DUI in the same way we treat all cases of alcohol and drug addiction.

Participants in our DUI treatment program will be integrated with our intensive outpatient program (IOP). Outpatient treatment is a form of rehab that delivers the same behavioral therapy and holistic treatment that makes inpatient therapy successful. The main difference is that you are able to live at home, maintaining your day-to-day life during treatment.

The overarching goal of our intensive outpatient program is the same as any other form of treatment: not only to overcome alcoholism and ensure responsible habits, but also to help you get well on your way to living an alcohol-free life.

You can expect to take all of the following steps when receiving DUI treatment through our intensive outpatient program:

  • Detox from alcohol in a safe, supportive environment
  • Find the support necessary to maintain sobriety
  • Get the help you need for overcoming alcoholism
  • Maintain a sense of normalcy and commitment to everyday responsibilities during treatment
  • Develop the skills and coping strategies to overcome triggers for alcohol use

All of these components are necessary steps to a successful treatment program, and Northpoint Seattle focuses on all of them to ensure effective DUI treatment for all of our clients. Our IOP supports clients from detox all the way through when they have finished treatment and are ready to responsibly drive again. Besides the necessary steps outlined above, you can expect that we will remain committed to offering you the following features throughout the duration of your program participation:

  • High quality alcohol detox and treatment
  • Individualized treatment for alcoholism with your needs and strengths considered
  • A wide variety of therapy approaches to overcome the effects of your DUI
  • A treatment program based on empirical evidence
  • Comfortable treatment and therapy sessions in a brand-new, modern and inviting facility
  • A holistic approach to alcohol treatment
  • A commitment to providing high-quality alcohol education, including its detrimental effects and the triggers for drinking

The first step toward DUI treatment is a DUI evaluation. At our treatment facility, we are approved by the department of social and health services to conduct a diagnostic evaluation as ordered by the court. If you have received a DUI and the court has ordered a DUI evaluation, Northpoint Seattle can help you start the evaluation and treatment process.

Based on the initial evaluation, our counselors will recommend a course of treatment given your personal and unique situation. In most cases, this will be treatment through our intensive outpatient program. Our IOP for alcohol addiction treatment consists of the following elements:

Our IOP typically lasts for around twelve weeks, or three months. During the program, clients will attend several sessions each week for a total of nine hours of treatment. Each session will have a different focus, bringing participants from initially processing the consequences of their DUI conviction to developing the coping skills necessary for avoiding alcoholic triggers in the future.

The focus of treatment at our center is on cognitive behavioral therapy, which is designed to help you recognize and then cope with the situations that cause you to drink. This therapy approach also helps participants work through the negative impact that their drinking and DUI have had on their personal and professional lives. Ultimately, the goal of our program is to not only address the immediate concern of the DUI, but also to overcome dependency on alcohol altogether.

Using the cognitive behavioral therapy approach, along with the 12-step philosophy of recovery, we help program participants go beyond the consequences of a DUI conviction and the next steps of a DUI evaluation by providing:

  • Opportunities for participants to communicate their struggles and victories
  • A sense of community in our on-going group meetings
  • Structured feedback and accountability for those looking to completely overcome alcoholism
  • A means to develop new skills and coping mechanisms for dealing with alcoholism and avoiding a DUI in the future
  • An individualized treatment program, with both one-on-one mentorship and counseling available in all of our IOPs

In some cases, alcohol detox is a necessary part of DUI treatment. Alcohol detox is about completely ridding your body of the tolerance to toxins that it has built up over time. This tolerance creates chemically-induced impulses, which manifest as alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms are anxiety, nausea, irritability, agitation, tremors, and even seizures in extreme cases.

If you are showing signs of alcohol withdrawal, a detox program is necessary for managing the symptoms when they are strongest. Everyone who struggles with alcoholism has a different story to tell, however, at least 50% of people who suffer from alcoholism experience withdrawal symptoms when they try to quit. If you have had a DUI, it is likely that you are unable to manage your drinking behaviors on your own. This is exactly what detox is available for, along with our entire treatment program.

Common Questions About DUI Assessments & Treatment

Getting the treatment you need for alcoholism after a DUI conviction can be an intense prospect. Many people do not know where to begin, even if they want to reach out for treatment and help.

What is a DUI?

We are here to help you through this process and give you the best information possible regarding DUI evaluations and treatment for alcoholism. We address some of the most common questions about DUI evaluations and treatment below. If you still have questions, do not hesitate to reach out and contact us today. We will be glad to respond to any questions that you have regarding our DUI evaluations and treatment services.

Northpoint Seattle is subject to Washington State law. According to this law, “A person subject to alcohol assessment and treatment shall be required by the court to complete a course in an alcohol information school...or complete more intensive treatment in a substance use disorder treatment program approved by the department of social and health services.”

Our program meets these standards, and our treatment facility is approved to provide both treatment and evaluation in DUI cases. We are not publically funded, so people do not enter our program by court order. However, we open our doors to those who have been convicted of a DUI and want additional help.

After your initial DUI evaluation, our counselors will recommend you to our intensive outpatient program (IOP). This is the only option we offer for DUI treatment, but it is a holistic one. While we do not have a program specifically for DUI treatment, our IOP is tailored to the needs and experiences of each and every participant, so you will be receiving exactly what you need.

In some cases, the court will require the completion of DUI classes or an education program after a DUI conviction. While we are committed to helping program participants understand alcoholism and its effects, we are not an alcohol education program. But what is the difference?

DUI classes focus on the behaviors and dangers associated with alcohol abuse, particularly in reference to driving. In contrast, our IOP treatment focuses on the underlying issues of alcohol addiction and substance use disorders. In a phrase, DUI treatment goes deeper than DUI classes, helping participants not only recognize problematic behaviors but also develop the coping skills to overcome addiction altogether.

We are a HIPAA compliant facility; under no circumstances will your involvement with the facility or your personal information be released to family, friends or outside agencies.

The cost of both alcohol assessments and subsequent treatment will vary depending on your individual circumstances. To get a better idea of the cost associated with our services, feel free to reach out to us today.

Yes, we accept payment from multiple insurance companies in Washington. Many of our clients get the treatment they need without any out of pocket expenses, while others need only cover their deductible. While you will most likely need to pay for the DUI evaluation out of pocket, most of the cost associated with DUI treatment can be covered by insurance.

If you do not currently have health insurance, you may want to take some time and research policies that are available to you. You can do that by visiting

Frequently Asked Questions About DUI Laws in Washington State

If you have been pulled over for a DUI, you probably have a lot of questions about what the law states in Washington. It is important for you to get the answers you need, and we would like to help you with that.

On the surface, it may seem as though DUI and DWI are basically the same thing. They are actually different, although in many states, including Washington, the difference does not matter at all.

DUI stands for driving under the influence, whereas DWI stands for driving while intoxicated. Both of these acronyms refer to the act of illegally driving a vehicle while impaired by alcohol (and/or drugs). In many states, these are considered to be separate crimes.

For those who live in such a state, a DUI is the lesser charge. It implies a lesser degree of impairment than a DWI. This is determined by the individual’s blood alcohol concentration level, or BAC at the time of the arrest.

Washington State is one of many states that carries a zero tolerance policy for drunk driving. They maintain that any BAC that is over the legal limit is a crime.

Police officers will frequently use field sobriety tests to gauge whether a driver is impaired. These are roadside tests that are designed to evaluate the person’s mental and physical ability to operate a vehicle. The theory is that a driver who is impaired will perform poorly.

The officer will base their decision of whether to arrest the driver on how they perform these tests. There are basically three standardized field sobriety tests that the police use most often. They are:

  • The horizontal gaze nystagmus
  • The walk and turn test
  • The one-legged stand test

An individual may be asked to complete just one or all of these tests. This is completely up to the officer’s discretion. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, they are more successful at determining impairment when people take all three.

Some officers may ask people to perform certain non-standardized tests. It is not uncommon for people to be asked to count backwards or recite the alphabet.

All of these tests are helpful to the officer, but a court of law is not likely to accept the results of a non-standardized test to prove intoxication. Some courts may even prohibit officers from testifying about the results at all.

A police officer cannot simply pick and choose the individuals that they are going to pull over for a traffic stop. In order to do so lawfully, they must have probable cause. This means that they need to have a reasonable suspicion that the person has broken the law. But it does not take much for a police offer to gain probable cause. Even committing a minor traffic violation will suffice.

A DUI arrest must be legally justified, which means there must be probable cause. The arresting officer must have evidence that supports the reasonable belief that the driver was under the influence.

It is actually illegal for you to refuse to take a chemical test if an officer has pulled you over for a DUI with probable cause. This requirement falls under implied consent laws. The officer can require you to take either a blood, urine or breath test to determine what your BAC is.

Implied consent means that you are agreeing to take any of these tests in exchange for driving on the road. In most cases, the test must be given within a few hours of the time you were driving.

Refusing a chemical test carries serious consequences that can be worse than being found guilty of a DUI. Courts have been known to order:

  • License suspension
  • Fines
  • Jail time
  • Ignition interlock device installation
  • Other penalties

In Washington State, if you refuse and it is your first offense, your license is suspended for one year. It is suspended for two years on your second offense and three years on your third offense.

If you are charged with a DUI and you decide to plead innocent and go to trial, the prosecution must prove the crime without a reasonable doubt. This will be a case that is presented to a jury, and they have the option to acquit you if the prosecution does not succeed.

There are two elements that must be proven in order for a jury to find you guilty of a DUI. It must be proven that you were driving a car, and that you were illegally under the influence of alcohol. It must be shown that you had a BAC of .08% or greater.

If the prosecution is successful, you will be found guilty. At that point, a judge will either sentence you or arrange a sentencing date.  

People often want to know if they should hire a lawyer to represent them during a DUI case. It may seem as though the facts of the case are pretty straightforward, and you may even think it would be a waste of money. But the fact is that DUI laws are not all cut and dry. If you have no legal experience, it might be best to talk with an attorney, even if that person is a public defender.

At the very least, it might help to sit down and explain your situation to an attorney. They will give you their honest legal opinion on what you should do, and then you can make your decision.

Driving under the influence in Washington State is considered to be a gross misdemeanor. It has significant penalties, and they can include time spent in jail, a suspended license and fines up to $5,000.

Penalties for DUI

Of course, the penalties are different depending on individual circumstances and whether or not this was your first offense. If it was your first offense the following laws apply.

For BAC levels under 0.15%:

  • One day of jail time, but this can extend to up to one year, depending on circumstances.
  • Instead of jail time, people can opt for electronic home monitoring, but this will last longer than jail time.
  • More than $900 in fees, but this can go up to $5,000.
  • 90-day driver’s license suspension.
  • The installation of an ignition interlock device after the suspension period.
  • Drug and alcohol education and/or a DUI victim impact panel participation.

For people with BAC levels that are 0.15% or more:

  • Two days of jail time, but again, this can extend to up to one year.
  • This can be substituted with 30 days of electronic home monitoring.
  • Fees of more than $1,000 to $5,000.
  • One year suspension of the driver’s license.
  • A mandatory ignition interlock device.
  • Drug and alcohol education and/or a DUI victim impact panel participation.

Of course, the penalties are much stiffer for those with second and third offenses. Your chances of going to jail are also increased if you are charged with vehicular homicide.

What You Need to Know About Your DUI Conviction

If you are convicted of a DUI charge, you will experience one of two types of punishments. The first is only administrative, and it will involve having your license suspended. This might actually be done right after you are arrested.

The second type of punishment is done under criminal law and it will result in fines, jail time, sentencing and parole. You will receive a conviction on your criminal record, which may be able to be removed in time.

What Happens After Your Treatment is Over?

Going through a DUI is often a long and emotionally painful process. You may have had to pay out a lot of money to cover fees and expenses. You may have had to miss work or even leave your job altogether. When you factor in the treatment you must undergo, it can feel as though your entire life has been turned upside down.

Recovering From DUI

Nevertheless, getting your DUI assessment is extremely important. Up until that point, you may not have realized that you had a serious problem with alcohol. You may not have known that you needed to get help. While it seems like a terrible inconvenience, in time, you may come to recognize your DUI as being a welcome interruption.

Once your treatment has come to an end, you may feel that it is a time of celebration. In a way it is, because you have come so far and learned so much about the disease of alcoholism. But in order to remain sober, you need to continue to learn and grow in your recovery.

Continuing to get treatment is vital for alcoholics. It allows them to keep sobriety at the forefront of their minds. It also gives them the chance to work through other issues that may come up in their lives that could potentially lead to a relapse. At this point, that is the very last thing you want to have happen to you.

You may want to consider attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings once you finish your IOP. AA is an excellent program that follows the 12 Steps of Recovery. You can find meetings all over the State of Washington, and they are actually located all over the world. Millions of people have found hope and recovery by committing to and attending AA.

These meetings are held once a week at the same time in the same place. They will give you a chance to share your story with others while you get help and support. If you ever have a day in which you are struggling, your AA family will be there to encourage you.

AA has changed lives, which is why it is still going strong after so many decades. Not only will you find the support you need but you may make lifelong friends who will continue to help you for years to come.

You should also consider continuing to attend therapy sessions. You can find several therapists in your area that specialize in treating addictions and the issues that often surround them. There is also the option of attending an outpatient rehab, which is similar to an IOP, but not quite as intensive.

During your treatment, you may have been diagnosed with a co-occurring disorder. This is a mental health condition that could have possibly led to your alcohol abuse. Many alcoholics suffer from some type of psychological issue that needs to be treated.

Some of the more common types of co-occurring disorders include:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Panic disorder
  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Eating disorder

Typically, alcoholics will use drinking to help with the symptoms they experience on a regular basis. For instance, if they suffer from anxiety, alcohol might help to calm them down because of its depressant effects. If they are depressed, drinking might help them feel happier.

Regardless, this is a condition that needs to be treated on a regular basis. Meeting with a therapist regularly through an outpatient clinic can help with this. They are there to assist you and can provide you with additional support so that you do not return to drinking as a way to cope.

Bellevue DUI

Getting Help After a DUI Conviction in Washington State

Whether you have been convicted of a DUI and need evaluation, or are uncertain whether or not alcoholism is an issue for you and would like assessment, we are here to help. From the first steps of evaluation to completing the last step of the recovery process, our staff is committed to providing the best alcohol rehab in Washington State.

If you find that you are ready to take the first step toward recovery, contact us today. Even if you are unsure about where you stand, we encourage you to reach out anyway. We can help you get the information you need regarding alcoholism, rehab, and how to deal with a DUI evaluation and subsequent treatment.

Talk to a Rehab Specialist

Our admissions coordinators are here to help you get started with treatment the right way. They'll verify your health insurance, help set up travel arrangements, and make sure your transition into treatment is smooth and hassle-free.

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