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Alcohol and Drug Programs

Although many California Driving Under the Influence (DUI) defendants are sentenced to jail, incarceration offers no help to individuals who have issues with alcohol or drug dependency. Because substance abuse is a widespread problem, criminal courts have begun to reassess treatment of individuals with alcohol and drug problems.

Judges and prosecutors have begun to realize that locking up alcoholics without treating underlying addiction issues is ineffective. Because of this shifting approach, treatment in a state-licensed drug and alcohol rehabilitation program may be an acceptable alternative sentencing option. An experienced DUI defense lawyer from the Law Office of Robert Tayac can advise the client whether treatment in San Francisco Bay Area may be an option in a California DUI case.

The duration of treatment programs vary, but many programs last 30 days. Most facilities in California are privately owned, and may be either coed or gender-specific. Many facilities have a waiting list.

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Attorneys for the firm represent clients accused of driving under the influence of alcohol or driving with a blood alcohol level at or above the legal limit in San Francisco, San Mateo, Marin, Alameda, Santa Clara, Contra Costa, Sonoma and Napa counties.

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Treatment may include therapy, behavior modification and/or medication. Three common behavioral treatments for alcoholism - motivation enhancement therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and 12-step therapy - are proven to help some individuals stop drinking. Medication such as naltrexone (ReVia™), an anti-craving medication, has been shown to be effective, especially when combined with behavior therapy.

In addition to reducing or eliminating jail time, a rehabilitation commitment can satisfy a requirement to attend alcohol education programs. Rehabilitation is typically set as a condition of probation (California Vehicle Code Section 23514 - Participation in Program as a Condition of Probation) only if the driver has been accepted into a program. Time spent in rehabilitation is credited toward the completion of a jail sentence in what is known as good time custody credits. Once the driver completes the program, the rehabilitation facility notifies the court. If the program is not successfully completed, the offender violates probation, and likely will go to jail.

California drivers with multiple DUI convictions on their records, or those who have unresolved issues with substance abuse, alcohol and/or drug rehabilitation may be a viable alternative to jail. An attorney experienced in California DUI defense will review a driver's case to establish whether rehabilitation or another form of alternate sentencing is a likely option.

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