Most of our readers might be unaware of all the punishments a Court can order at the sentencing of a person convicted of driving under the inluence or driving while intoxicated.  I believe a great deal of us understand there is a likely a fine to be paid, possible jail to be served or a probation period, and costs or expenses reimbursed for testing.  Were you aware, however, many states also make it mandatory a person receive an evaluation to determine the potential level of drug or alcohol abuse as part of the sentence?

Kansas, like many states, makes getting an evaluation mandatory before sentencing.  KSA 8-1008 shows this.  The court often uses this evaluation and its recommendations in making treatment or education a mandatory part of the person’s sentence.  Most of the time, the treatment or class ordered is a part of probation.

Prosecutors argue this is an important part of the sentencing for driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated cases.  People start addressing their potential substance abuse problems and that can likely reduce the chances of the person getting more convictions for the same offense.

Problems for the defense, however, can come along the lines of people being ordered to pay for this evaluation and treatment.  A lot of times, a person who is sentencing in a DUI/DWI case barely has the money to pay off their attorney and/or the other costs.  How can we work towards treatment when no one wants to pay for it?

It seems the intent to mandating this evaluation is clear.  The legislators want people to address any substance abuse issues.  The real question, however, is how can we provide adequate treatment as part of a sentence and make it cost effective?

Until next post, drive safe!