Tuesday, April 26, 2011

How to Pass a Drug and Alcohol Evaluation

How To Pass a Drug and Alcohol Evaluation For Dummies

The majority of you who are sure you do not have a drinking problem would walk into a drug and alcohol evaluation confident that your honesty would yield a passing result. After revealing to the counselor that you only have a few beers after work or only drink with friends on the weekend or have a glass of red wine with dinner every night (which has even been proved to be medicinal to the health) you are confident that you will be declared to have zero drug or alcohol problems .The disappointing part would be at the end of the test when the counselor tells you his recommendation is intensive outpatient treatment and that he has found you to have an alcohol abuse problem. Stunned and a little enraged you have no idea how he or she came to that conclusion. Even worse is that the results will be seen by most likely by the courts (if court ordered) and the consequences could result in months of your life being devoted towards expensive time consuming drug and alcohol classes that you don't feel you deserve.

Now here is what you need to know to avoid a failing score:(oh and feel free to play some of my favorite songs with my play-list over here, it isn't spam or a link or anything just some cool beats that might make the read a bit more interesting -->)

Four things you need to know before taking the test.

First, is presentation of yourself. I would advise you not to walk in there like a nun, If your there for a DUI or MIP you've obviously not had enough self control to avoid that. Proclaiming that you never drink nor do drugs for no particular reason will cause suspicion, and will be taken into consideration by the counselor. At the same time you need to appear like a law abiding citizen to the counselor (it will make you more believable).  The counselor will be less likely to believe anything you say if you’re rocking a Bob Marley shirt and sportin dreadlocks along w/ facial piercings, even if you are being 100% honest about never having tried pot, so dress for church with grandma. Another important factor is attitude; drugs make people agitated, lazy, hyper, nervous, depressed etc...Do NOT show any of these traits. Try to maintain a positively upbeat attitude with all the necessary manners on the side. Be sure to show concern about whatever you were arrested for and make a point that you have made a change for the better because of it, don't act like it doesn't bother you. 
 Second, as hard as it may be for your conscience, you have to throw honesty out the door, you do not get bonus points for honest. When the evaluation is over, the counselor wont be the one to fully decide whether or not you passed....The checklist that he’s been scoring on will tell him if you've passed or not. This is not a mental battle vs. the counselor, this is a battle between you and the evaluation test. Do not worry the counselor will not call you out on what you tell him, they do not have any information about you other than your driving record and arrest report. It all comes down to what you look like on paper at the end of the test, and what your score turns out to be will determine the consequences. It doesn't care what your opinion is regarding what is alcohol abuse is and neither does the counselor. So for all you rebels of the system (stick it to the man) keep your stubbornness in a box under the bed at home because it will won’t help you.
 Third, do your research. These tests are designed to trip you up on your own answers. The evaluation contains a series of questions, some very similar to each other but worded differently to see if your answering consistently. If your under 21 and say you "only" drink in Canada with your friends, have dates in mind (never admit to having used alcohol or drugs after the arrest unless you got arrested again of course). When asked how much drug of choice you use, have an low amount in mind and stick to it. Practice your answers before hand, don't walk in there and wing it. Google "Michigan Alcohol Assessment Test" and go over the questions and even though it may not contain all the evaluation questions it encompasses the general idea,so get used to answering them all in your favor even despite if a couple may be true about you.
 Fourth, Show up with clean pee. Don't be stupid, to pass the actual test with my advice only to fail a UA it would be a waste of time and confirm only that you are a liar to the counselor.This is a good site to check how long any drug will stay in your system www.alwaystestclean.com/how_long.htm

  Answering evaluation questions

They will ask you if you've ever had a drug and alcohol evaluation before, so unless you've had one for court before say NO, there is no database they can look at that says your parents made you get a drug and alcohol evaluation back in high school. The next thing to remember when answering the questions is that you are new to alcohol or whatever you poison got you to this point. Whatever you got arrested for was a rare freak event that you've never done before. If you were arrested for DUI that's the first and last time you ever drove drunk, if you got an MIP that's the first and last time you ever had it on you. Do not admit to doing the illegal regularly, if you admit to breaking the law multiple times you will lose your law abiding image you are shooting for. If your under 21 and older than 19 say you only drink in Canada legally. Another thing is most times newbie’s to drugs and alcohols are provided the product at first; a big indicator of abuse is you spend a lot of your time focused on getting the product. So make a point that it was provided to you and that you absolutely did not go out of your way to get the alcohol or drug (especially if you’re underage or if it was a drug related charge).
 The next thing to remember is they're looking to see if you've built up a tolerance .Does it take more alcohol or drugs to get you drunk or high now than when you first started to use. Now is not the time to brag about how you drank a whole fifth to yourself that one time or smoked the half ounce blunt for your birthday. If your there for an alcohol charge, say you get drunk off three beers and get sick in the morning as a hangover and that's never changed since you started drinking (chronic drinkers do not get sick after drinking and need a hell of a lot more than three beers to get drunk).For drugs say you only need a single hit to get you high as a kite. Never ever ever ever answer yes when they ask if you drink or do drugs before noon!
 Now to answer the family related questions. Alcohol and drug abuse affects your family life; the evaluation is looking for this. You need to start by answering that no one in your family has had a drug or alcohol problem.Also state that your household is a supportive for your staying sober. Any history of family drug or alcohol abuse will negatively affect your scores. Then move on to say that your family life is great and that in no way has alcohol or drugs had a negative impact on your life. You also need to make it clear that you do not need drugs or alcohol to be social and make friends or go to work, also you do not need to drink or do drugs to "act normal”. 
You also must show that you have a reason to refrain from using alcohol and drugs. Make a point that you have a very active life, sports, girlfriend, clubs, work, kids are all very good distractions from drugs or alcohol. You are less likely to be a repeat offender if you have something to stay sober for.
 The End. I decided to write this post after I was trying to research up on how to pass a drug and alcohol evaluation for my very own legal troubles and came across a large amount of misinformation and hater posts critisizing people asking for help on the subject, and also there was a straight up lack of general information. If you follow my advice it will vastly increase your chance of passing a drug and alcohol evaluation( thanks to a couple of zero tolerance parents while in high school and one recent DUI I've been able to test it personally with passing results on multiple occasions,). If you have any questions or comments feel free to ask and I will answer them to the best of my knowledge. Although If you don't have anything nice to say , DON'T say it, I will ignore you.


38 comments:

  1. Thank you for this posting! I had to do this for legal reasons and I was petrified about the whole thing thinking they just want my money and their monthly fees added up to close to a hundred bucks a month which in these times . . . .

    I went in with a cheerful attitude, stuck to the story as close to the truth as possible without making myself sound to saintly or an alcoholic. I answered their questions accordingly and I studied the MAST test. It wasn't the exact test but it was close enough.

    Thank you!! I went in palms sweating and heart racing but walked out without having to devote 3 days a week and loss of work and wages thanks to you.

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  2. I got to go in on Feb. 27th, 2012; tell you how that works out

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  3. What if you had a drug assessment in the past? I took the test in the past and the plan was for me to take intensive outpatient classes... When they finally got my drug test back they realized I had a beer and signed me up for 6 months of residential in which I completed... This time I been clean for 4 months and I have a drug assessment coming up soon... I wasn't a regular user I only used when I went to my friend house one or two weekends out the month... I'm hoping that i will walk away with outpatient treatment... What are my chances? I am not a regular user I do not smoke daily... I can go weeks without thinking about smoking marijuana... That's my drug of choice... Can u help?

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  4. erndogg hi thanks for posting this. ok i had an assessment in the past like 3year's ago are they going to have my record of that ? this time i did nothing wrong child service's wants me to take this assessment i think its bs .im not sure if i should bring up my past drug use are not .ty

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  5. I have to have a elva for a 5 degree assault.. I went to treatment when I was 16 bc of some minors I had and my mom and the court decided that would be best... Should I tell them about going to treatment? Could thy find out?

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  6. This was some very valuable information.The eval is also comprised of mental and psycological questions,family history with chemical dependency and more.
    I went in recently after having blown more than a .230 and came away with only an 8hr class to take and no further classes or treatment. Something to keep in mind is your blood alcohol level at the time you were tested...if awfully high at that time you need to say it was consumed quickly in a short period of time. I thank you for your article....good info!!

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  7. Thank-you very much!!! This was so helpful.. My appointment is today..

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  8. thanks for the info. I have appointment tommorrow I am gonna say not applicabe to all or no. let you know the after visit result thanks again

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  9. My name is Dustin Long and I am a Registered Addiction Specialist and also the CEO of
    Arcadia Recovery Center. There are a couple points of emphasis that I would counsel those reading this to observe, the first of which is although I am a clean cut person, presentable and speak well, there is a core fundamental misinterpretation. I myself am a recovering addict and alcoholic and have close to 15 years experience. I appreciate the candor of the author of this posting, however I will add that if you think you can walk into an office with someone irregardless of whether they've been there or not with over 8 years of applied knowledge and think they won't call you out on truth or fiction is a fairy tale.
    The second point I would like to bring up is the fact that the assessment tool is not designed to "trip" you up. I have been incarcerated I was a junkie for a decade of my life and I know have the opportunity to sit down with young men and women and assess whether or not they are chemically dependent or chemical abusers. The point I'm trying to make is that no counselor is "out to get you" nor do you want people in treatment who are not ready for an intensive level of care they do not belong in. The fact a treatment center waited to get back a UA to decide whether or not a client was in need of a higher level of care is actually unethical and impractical to ASAM and SAMSHA standards.
    What I'm trying to get at in all of this is there is no certain way to "beat" a drug and alcohol evaluation, one because every counselor is different and two because every person is different. My best suggestion because this is what I look for HONESTY. If you come in and tell me that you don't have a drinking problem, no one in your family has ever had a drinking problem, this is your first DUI and you have no run in's with the law outside of it, you have held down a job for over a year and you pay your bills on time the last thing I'm going to do as a counselor is recommend any type of treatment because treatment would insinuate that you are DEPENDENT. The point of an assessment is to gauge whether or not you are DEPENDENT or an ABUSER. Nothing else…

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    1. i am glad you posted that comment because i too was a junkie but have been clean for almost 3 years, however i had a legal situation over 8 months ago with a dr, i am not guilty and have been fighting it til im just tired of fighting they have offered me a plea and to be honest id rather just take it and go on with my life, i have no problem admitting i was an addict but i also don't want people to think i am now because it does bother me i have came so far from where i was and of course my friends and family know this and that should be all that matters but to me if a counselor or court think im still in that addictive behavior yes it does bother me because i know better. Regardless i now have to take another a & d assessment to decide if "they" think i need inpatient rehab or outpatient or mental health or nothing i suppose, i told them i have no problem what so ever doing mental health, addicted or not anyone can use that, (please know once an addict your always an addict but the behavior changes and your always in recovery) i have 2 very small children and i have no one and i honestly mean no one to care for them if i had to go to a unneeded long term rehab ( i think its a waste of tax payers money and think that someone who really needs it should be able to go) so they said they have some where i can take my children, but my kids weren't born addicted, and ive been clean for so long to me its not needed and its more important to give those spots to parents in jail or pregnant or fighting for custody that really need it, plus my childrens addy wouldn't be able to see his children while we were there due to he can't drive and he works so he can't care for them himself, this is a delicate situation and i know i can't go to my assessment with an attitude mad cause they even sent me there, and i don't want to tell them i think its a complete waste of time for inpatient rehab because that would most likely send up a big red flag oh shes in denial which is honestly not the case at all. i am well aware of my current status i just hate lying, and my family has a bad history and i don't want that to auto fail me, i know you can't tech fail but i mean a bad score, im so confused. :(

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    2. While these are in part true, what I will say is that a good assessor can see through a lie and a good assessor will also know if you need intensive treatment. I say this as I have sat on both sides of the table. When I got a DUI I was told by the person who assessed me he knew I didn't have an alcohol problem and that it was simply that I drank too much and drove. What most times is not understood is that the fact you got a DUI, the fact you got an MIP you are going to get ordered to treatment in most states. Drug addict of kid who was holding for someone else you got caught and most jurisdictions say that means you get treatment.

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    3. Real dilemma here. (Please ignore the upcoming diatribe if of differing opinions, and skip to next paragraph) 17 Yrs ago I was a full fledged druggie. Entered a prestigious program, relapsed with my graduating group in a hotel room first night, and la dee da.. . . anyway, I've got a master's in Clinical Psych, which works against me as the "patient". Through years of research and statistical analysis, I have concluded that addiction/alcoholism is NOT a disease. Period. It's a symptom. If I went to my doc with one of my REAL diseases, such as Crohn's, Barrett's, and many others (none of which are drug or alcohol related), and he told me to go to a support group for 90 days, and do the 12 steps (which I AM a fan of btw) - I'd be a very wealthy man indeed. The AA/NA attendance is the "plan" for all addicts (they don't even have to do the steps!!), and which has less than a 6% success rate from even the Betty Ford Clinic - in other words, find god (higher power, even a tea cup - DUH - the whole BASIS of the steps is to have a HIGHER FORM OF CONSCIOUSNESS INTERVENE PERSONALLY IN ONE'S LIFE AND THUS CHANGE YOU AND MAKE YOU ALL WELL - obviously a tea cup don't cut it), addiction tx has a LOWER "cure" rate than the most aggressive of cancers, HEY WAKE UP!!! IT DON'T WORK. Find out why you drink or drug - THEN you can be cured.

      ANYWHOO.. . I haven't drank or drugged for 12 years. 2 years ago I caught my fiance with a crack pipe (actually the police found 5 of them on her, wound up arresting her, charges dropped on me), I laid down the rules, she broke them, and I had to kick her out of my condo. It broke my heart. I got her committed 3x for psych and dual diagnosis reasons, her family NO help, we got back together, all was well, she was clean for 6 months, we scheduled the wedding, picked a house out, and I woke up to find her dead. Not an OD. Bad undiagnosed heart condition. 40 yrs old. I had a bunch of her personal stuff that I thought her kids and fam might want, and carried them in her little purse within my backpack, and wa-la - the police bust into a buddy's hotel room (by mistake), ask whose backpack that was, I said mine, and upon going through it found an inside pouch in her purse that had a broken crack pipe in it. I get charged with possession of paraphanalia. I need to get a drug and alcohol eval but am terrified due to my far away past, and the fact that if you go to a barber you'll be told you need a haircut. An anger mgt specialist? U need anger mgt. A doc, u need meds. Get me? What should I do? I'm disabled, but am considering a complete psycho social so they wouldn't know what I was there for. Any ideas? Or where i can get an eval cheap in md?

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  10. should i lie and tell them i failed for weed when i really failed my job pre employment drug test for cocaine? or does the substance really matter my friend said lie and say its for weed since i live in washington and weed is now legal

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  11. I have a substance abuse assessment because I got charged with possession of marijuana. I got a dwi two years ago, and it does not show up on the public website that almost all employers use to do criminal background checks. Is there any way the person doing my evaluation will have the info for my dwi, or is it safer to not mention it if they ask if I have gotten into any other trouble over substances?

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  12. Agree 100% with the poster. I got a DUI over the summer, and I had to do an alcohol evaluation. I can only speak for myself in this case, but my evaluator/counselor read from a sheet of questions that everyone gets asked. I'd have to say that I would not be 100% honest in your answers because, due to their past experiences, they most likely assume that you will be undercutting what you really do. For example, if you say you have 2 drinks/week, they will assume you really have 4-5 and so on. Aim low, and def show up as presentable as possible. It will help earn the benefit of the doubt if you look like a normal member of society You don't need to wear a tux, but a button down, slacks and nice pair of shoes will do just fine. Borrow clothes if you dont own anything like that. They are human too and will make assumptions on initial impressions like any of us would. If you've been arrested for multiple drug violations or DUI's, I'd try to start going to AA meetings (or whatever you think will help with what you were arrested for.) I started it because I genuinely want to stop drinking, but your attendance will show the evaluator and the court that you understand the severity of your actions.They will most likely see you as less of a future threat if you're taking independent actions to make sure it never happens again. Go the extra mile and do more than the average person. You probably wont get a charge dismissed, but the judge will probably be more willing to go easier on you at your sentencing.

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  13. That was very awesome and informative.... thanks for sharing the information and taking the time to help others...you rock

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  14. I have to have a drug assessment for invasion of privacy I went to my own home after I got arrested for domestic battery I got biting and pulling my husband's hair while he was choking me and I was just trying to breathe. He then broke 4 ribs. But anyway I have been clean for almost 7 years with exception of a couple of incidents where I relasped. I go to na meetings and havent used for over 1 and a half years. I just wanna tell the truth in the assessment. I have no desire to use and have stayed clean during this terrible situation I am in. Leaving abusive husband and him taking my daughter away from me. Im going through hell and still havent used dont even want to. If they feel I need treatment who am I to argue.... but I hope they dont recommend that . I know the tools to stay clean. I go to meetings, dv support group, I work, getting ready to start college and have 3 open court cases to go to everymonth. One is my divorce and custody case the other ones are hearing s for my husband battery charge and ones for domestic violence.. so I do stay busy and very unlikley I will use.. I love being clean and sober... I only used those times because I was beaten down and sad and my husband offered it to me so I did it.. but I woukd still like to know what to expect....

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    1. I continue to stay clean. I started college and after four months the courts returned my daughter to me. Choosing to stay clean has paid off.. I was told 6 months to a year to get daughter back doing what the courts said. I just may finish my 1st semester with a 4.0 gpa..

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  15. If you keep submitting well written articles just like this then I will always keep returning back to your blog. Really good material.
    State Certification
    Georgia DUI

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  16. Thank u so much for honesty on this subject, its such a nerveracking thing have to go through I had another question tho; do u have any idea what type of drug panel test is typically used and if its common for someone to come into the bathroom with u during the urine test ? I'm just so nervous about something popping up, even tho I should b ok that I would like to use synthetic urine 'synthix urine 5'. I've read that this one is very reliable and it would make me feel more confident in case there are any minute traces of anything (opiates or Suboxone). The test is coming up quickly and not sure if its enough time to be sure. Thanks so much agin, any additional info would be so greatly appreciated.

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  17. I just had one done. they ask you a lot of questions about drugs and alcohol. how often how much when you started when you last did and so on. At the end of the interrogation they gave me a cup to pee in. I got the results right then and there. they test for alcohol marijuana cocaine meth amphetamines opiates and benzodiazapams

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  18. Okay great thank you again. The last thing I need to know is if they go into the bathroom with you. I'm trying to be clean for the test but just in case I don't have enough time to the clean I'd like to have synthetic urine as a backup. Obviously I won't be able to use that if the person goes into the bathroom with me.did they go into the bathroom when you went?

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  19. No I went in bathroom by myself. The inly time I had to have someine in bathroom was for probation and they never really looked. I had to have a drug and alcohol assessment not probation this time. I was clean and told the truth about drug and alcohol history. Surprisingly they did not recomend any further treatment. My drug history is extensive too. I have been clean for about 7 years with about a year in between of using here and there.

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  20. man I can't thank you enough for the advice. I had back problems from work and didn't have insurance. A buddy of mine gave me percocet and before I knew it I had withdrawals which lead into taking oxy. other than that I've never had any drug issues before in my life. Just having a hard time taking enough days off from work to get this completely out of my system.I just don't want this one mistake to affect me for the rest of my life. thank you again and good luck on staying clean. Sounds like you're doing a good job.

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  21. In my experience it only takes about a say fir percocets to go out of system. But I wasnt taking much then.

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  22. Yeah I think you're right but unfortunately I started doing oxycodone after that. About 30mg/day. That's why I was thinking about trying the synthetic urine like quick fix or sythetix5. I thought about just taking Suboxone but I'm not sure if that will show up either. I'm new at all this. Never did anything but drink beer. If I fail this evaluation that my lawyer got me I'm liking at a year probation. I just really fucked up.

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  23. If I have had some outpatient group sessions would this help me during the evaluation? I was planning on bringing the paperwork and showing that I have gone through such classes already. Thanks

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  24. Jack no beanstalk
    I don't know where you live but usually there is a community mental health place that is based on income with sliding scale fees.

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  25. Actually your creative writing skills has inspired me to start my personal Blog Engine weblog now.
    Defensive Driving Program in Jonesboro, GA
    Jonesboro DUI Classes

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  26. Ive had a DUI some 20 years ago in another state, but did the evaluation and classes in the state that I now live in. Recently,I got another one. Should I admit to the alcohol evaluator of the past situation?

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  27. Ive had a DUI some 20 years ago in another state, but did the evaluation and classes in the state that I now live in. Recently,I got another one. Should I admit to the alcohol evaluator of the past situation?

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  28. when you go to the 72 hour weekend intervention program should you be honest then or will and can that be used against you?

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  30. If i failed UAs while going to court for my drug paraphenelia charge will the assessor of my cd evalution know this, and will they know what i said as far as usage is concerned in my PSI (presentencing investigation)?

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  31. The post is written in very a good manner and it entails many useful information for me. I appreciated what you have done here. I am always searching for informative information like this. Thanks for sharing with us.you can visit Online Counselling for more update.

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  32. I have an evaluation coming up in a couple days; 2 years ago after my dad passed away I had major issues with drugs and alcohol because of his death and went to rehab voluntarily as my own decision for a couple months. Ever since I have been in control of my intake until just recently getting a DUI. I'm not sure if the evaluator will have access to the fact that I went to rehab but if so I'm assuming my past will not be good for my score. Do you have any knowledge or advice about my circumstance that might be able to help me out? I'm kind of worried my past is going to end up screwing me over at my evaluation :/

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  33. Excellent blog post and discussion/comments afterwards. It makes me believe even more that we are all just normal folks who are trying to get by - and occasionally we get in a bit of trouble now and then. Unless you really think you have a problem and want to get help, it is necessary to think strategically in order to deal with a legal system that is increasingly into observing its citizens and labeling them as deviants and/or criminals of some kind. The problem lies with our bloated, irrational state that is hell bent on disciplining us. That is what is so traumatic about this whole DUI experience - it's the feeling of this giant system coming down on you, pressuring you, defining you as something you know you are not...so it can process you and stamp a scarlet letter on you...very disturbing and stressful. So be strong, find a good DUI lawyer, read blogs like this, and think strategically.

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