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Does a DUI arrest mean you have an alcohol problem?

by | Jul 16, 2021 | DUI

The fact that you have been arrested on suspicion of DUI does not mean you have an alcohol abuse problem. But it could be a warning sign.

Colorado law thinks so. Most jurisdictions give judges the power to order a defendant convicted of DUI to undergo evaluation for possible alcoholism prior to sentencing. The evaluation’s purpose is to help the judge decide if they should order the defendant to undergo treatment for addiction as part of the sentence.

The evaluation

The assessment is an in-person appointment, usually involving both a written questionnaire and an interview. You may also be required to submit to a urine test to check if there is alcohol in your bloodstream. The test, which is called an ETG test, can detect alcohol up to five days after a person had a drink. Failing the test can have a bad impact on your sentencing.

Keep in mind that this interview is meant to gather evidence against you. While you should not try to lie, your right to remain silent to avoid self-incrimination is still in place during the pre-sentencing phase of your DUI case. You should discuss with your attorney what questions to expect, which ones to answer, and which ones you should decline to answer.

Dealing with an alcohol problem on your own terms

If you suspect you have a problem with alcohol, a DUI arrest could be a wake-up call. But you should try to maintain as much control over the criminal proceedings as you can. Part of this involves developing a strategy with your defense attorney that protects your rights.


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