Pulled Over for DWI
What is a DWI Evaluation and do I Need One if I am Pulled Over for DWI on Long Island?
New York has a unique process for dealing with DWI offenses. If you are convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) or while under the influence of drugs, you will most likely be required to submit to an “OASAS Evaluation.” OASAS stands for “Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services.” This evaluation is crucial to the overall outcome of your case. Here is how it works.
What is the OASAS Evaluation?
A clinical social worker will perform an evaluation of you to determine whether you are a risk for repeat offenses. The assessment is designed to advise the court and help the judge determine whether you are a habitual or addicted individual. The goal is to catch problems early and help people get the help they need in order to avoid future arrests.
Who can Perform an OASAS Evaluation?
State law says that only certain types of healthcare providers are qualified to perform these assessments, including:
- Licensed Clinical Social Workers
- Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
- Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC)
- Psychologist, and/or
- Nurse Practitioner
In addition to being a qualified professional, the evaluator must meet or hold one or more of the following:
- Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor
- DOT Substance Abuse Professional
- National chemical dependence/addictions certification
- Minimum of 4,000 hours of clinical screening, assessment or treatment experience in an OASAS-Certified program or similar state or federal programs
- At least 4,000 hours of specific and relevant experience
When is an OASAS Report Required?
In general, an OASAS report is required when you are going to plead guilty to DWI. In many cases, if you are a first time offender and have little to no prior criminal record, the prosecutor may agree to reduce the charge to a lesser offense. If you have a chronic pattern of alcohol abuse or display signs and symptoms of alcoholism, a judge may require substance abuse treatment as a condition of your sentence.
What is Considered in the OASAS Evaluation?
The social worker or addictions counselor will perform a screening that looks at a number of factors, including but not limited to:
- Any previous criminal conduct (arrests, convictions, etc.)
- Social history of drinking and/or drug abuse
- Your family history
- Employment history
You may also be required to undergo urine or blood tests to ensure compliance with the program and to determine whether you have drugs or alcohol in your system. It is important to be upfront about any prescription medications you are taking, so that you do not inadvertently get flagged for having drugs in your system.
Get Legal Help Today From Our Long Island DWI Lawyers
If you have a serious alcohol or drug problem, you could be required to submit to substance abuse treatment. If you are being told that you need to complete OASAS evaluation in NYC, call 888-DUI-Lawyer today and speak with an experienced DWI lawyer who can answer your questions and fight to protect your rights throughout the process. Do not trust that the evaluator is looking out for your best interests; get legal help today.