One of the first steps I recommend to potential clients to aid in their defense is to get signed up for both a Georgia Risk Reduction program and a clinical evaluation (commonly called A/D evals). These evaluations are commonplace and have become widely required by judges and prosecutors throughout Georgia as a condition of any plea or sentence involving DUI charges. Additionally, even where I am able to obtain reduced charges- with the DUI dropped- a clinical evaluation is usually part of sentences by the court. With this being said, I usually recommend that clients get these evaluations done early in their case, as they show the arresting officer, prosecutor and judge that you are serious about the charges you are facing. This approach goes a long way when it comes to negotiating your DUI charges, or trying to keep your driver’s license in the face of a long suspension term.
Under Georgia law, the person or organization conducting your evaluation must be approved by the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD). A searchable list of state-approved agencies can be found at: www.mop.uga.edu. These alcohol and drug evaluations usually last between 60 and 90 minutes and are conducted in person at the provider’s facility. The minimum cost of the evaluation is $95.00 and their is no cap on fees a provider may charge. Most evaluations in Metro-Atlanta range from $100-$150.
If you have questions about obtaining an alcohol and drug evaluation for your DUI or related case, or would like more information on the potential effect of these evaluations, call or email me directly and I will be happy to speak with you.