First, and sometimes second, offenders under New Jersey's drunk driving statute are referred to their Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) for evaluation and possible treatment. If the evaluation results in the staff believing that treatment is needed, you would be referred out to a treatment center. But what happens next?

What Kind of Treatment Does IDRC Recommend?

The purpose of any treatment plan is to provide information and personal insight to you, so that you will recognize the extent of any substance abuse problem and acquire the tools to begin recovery and maintain sobriety. But what kind of treatment are we talking about here? Well, it can take one of four forms:

  1. Outpatient Treatment. This is for those that abuse alcohol to the extent that it substantially interferes with his or her health or ability to function. The minimum length of treatment is 16 sessions of at least one one-hour session per week. The maximum is one year.
  2. Inpatient Treatment. This is for those people who are experiencing a physical dependence on alcohol and have had previous outpatient failure.
  3. Intensive Outpatient Treatment. This is for those that meet the criteria for inpatient treatment, but are required to attend outpatient treatment in lieu of inpatient.
  4. Self-Help Programs. This refers to programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and is appropriate for those people that have already been in the group for at least 3 months and are currently active. This is also used as an adjunct to an inpatient or outpatient program. A person is not required to go to a particular group and may seek referral to a different one.

All programs must be approved by the IDRC and the Intoxicated Driving Program (IDP) of the Division of Addiction Services within the Department of Health and Senior Services, and agree to meet certain treatment and administrative crideria. A person who is referred for treatment must contact the program within 10 working days.

Who Pays for the Treatment Program?

You do! It's another cost associated with a DUI conviction. Treatment facilities are encouraged by law to provide information to you  as to the fee schedule, the existence of a sliding fee schedule, and whether fees can be paid by health insurance. However, if you can meet the poverty criteria for your county, then treatment must be provided for free or on a sliding fee basis.

So What Do I Do?

If you have been charged with drunk driving, you need to hire an experienced DUI lawyer! Detention and evaluation by the IDRC is just one of many expensive, and potentially devastating consequences of a DUI conviction. 

If you have been charged with drunk driving in Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Salem or Cumberland County, call me immediately at 856-432-4113 or contact me through this site to schedule a free consultation.

If you are looking for more information on New Jersey's drunk driving law, then download my free book, How Much Trouble Am I In? A Guide to New Jersey Drunk Driving Law.

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Steven J. Richardson
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Bankruptcy, Collections, Student Loan, DUI and Traffic Court attorney in Woodbury, NJ.