Philadelphia, like most cities in America, has strict laws for drinking and driving. It can be very dangerous, and the legislature has made it a priority to make the punishments severe enough to deter people from doing it. However, despite the efforts to curb drinking and driving, many people continue to do so. If these individuals are charged and convicted, they will face harsh penalties.
The penalties for a DUI can include jail time, fines and driver's license suspensions. As part of these punishments, a drug and alcohol assessment may be included. These are generally completed prior to sentencing. The purpose of the evaluation is to help determine a person's overall use of drugs or alcohol, which helps the court to decide what the punishment should be. The goal of the evaluation is to determine what is needed to help the person who is charged, as well as determine what is necessary to protect the public.
A person may also have to undergo a full assessment in certain circumstances. Circumstances that may require an assessment are: if the evaluation indicates that the person needs counseling or therapy, if the person has received their second DUI within the previous ten years or if the person's blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit. The assessment is more extensive than the evaluation and makes recommendations as to which treatment the person must complete and for how long, including any aftercare recommendations.
Many people are charged with DUIs in Philadelphia each year. After being charged, the person may have to complete a drug and alcohol assessment in addition to the other penalties imposed. However, not everyone who is charged with a DUI is convicted, and there may be defenses available to avoid the harsh penalties. Experienced attorneys understand the laws surrounding DUIs and the potential defenses that may be available.
Source: legis.state.pa, "Chapter 38," accessed on July 6, 2015