If Your DUI Evaluation Scores You at Low Risk of Repeat Behavior, Do You Still Need Treatment?

DUI’s were invented to help protect the public from driving accidents while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Because they are designed with safety in mind, the regulations and restrictions surrounding them can seem extensive. When evaluating the probability for a future DUI, treatment may look more or less appealing depending on the score.

What Does A DUI Evaluation Score Mean?

A DUI evaluation screens for the probability of repeat behavior. If the driver is at low risk, many wonder if treatment is the right answer for them.

The Impaired Driving Assessment screening tool was created to identify an offender’s risk of repeating the same behavior. This assessment consists of two parts: a self assessment and an evaluator’s report. After answering a series of questions measuring mental health, behavior, mood adjustment, social conformity and alcohol and/or drug involvement, the potential risk can be gauged.

Although the questionnaire has been designed to assess future risk, it is not always accurate. There is no biological testing involved and is based around the behavior and answers of both the offender and the evaluator. An evaluation score is not scientific. It is a tool that can help gauge how much risk is involved when the individual drinks alcohol. The risk alcohol can create for the individual itself, not including the operation of a motor vehicle, is not assessed.

Do You Or Don’t You Need Treatment?

This is a question that is far more complex. Even if you are evaluated as a low risk for future drinking and driving, you can still have issues with alcohol. The way alcohol impacts one’s life is not restricted to driving and can harm the individual and those around him or her in a variety of ways.

Alcohol frequently impacts life by:
-creating relationship problems
-causing delays or sick days at work
-placing yourself in risky situations
-causing embarrassment
-increasing the likelihood for depression and anxiety
-damaging trust

Regardless if you drink and drive, alcohol can cause problems and even danger to you and those around you. If you are unsure whether you need treatment, understanding the scope of the problem may be the first step.

When Is A Drinking Problem Bad Enough To Get Treatment?

A problem is a problem if it is a problem. There is no line in the sand as to when a drinking problem is intolerable to the person who needs help. Many people wait to get help until they have run into dire consequences because they feel shame or anxiety about reaching out to others. These feelings usually pass extremely quickly once treatment has begun.

If you are wondering if you need treatment after a DUI, the following questions can prove helpful:

  • Have you made rules about your drinking that are not able to be kept?
  • Do you find yourself in increasingly bad circumstances each year?
  • Have you spent time engaging in a favorite hobby without alcohol in the past two weeks?
  • Do you find yourself frequently thinking about alcohol?
  • Do you visit separate stores to buy alcohol for fear that people will know how much you drink?
  • Do you drink more than you intend?
  • Must you drink more alcohol than you once did to feel the same effects?
  • Have you made excuses so that you can drink alcohol?
  • Do you find yourself wanting alcohol at a particular time of day every day?

These questions are good indicators of whether treatment might benefit you. Treatment does not have to occur after a major life event. Although many people enter into a treatment program after receiving a DUI or losing a job or facing a divorce, treatment can actually prevent these situations from happening in the first place.

When The Amount You Drink Is Normal

Many people drink alcohol with friends or coworkers. While some people with alcohol use disorder may drink alone, a large population do so socially. Getting treatment can be particularly difficult if the amount of alcohol you drink is normalized by other people who drink the same amount.

One way to reassess how much you and those around you drink, is to keep track of how many social events you attend together where alcohol is not consumed. If all socializing includes alcohol, this may be an indicator that your drinking habits, while average for the people you’re around, may not be healthy.


DUI evaluation scores are an excellent way to assess whether or not treatment is the right option for you. Although the report is designed to predict future risky behavior involving alcohol, it is not a test to evaluate alcohol use disorder or alcoholism. If you’re unsure whether you fit the criteria for a treatment center, we can help. Please call 302-842-2390.

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