Most Minnesotans understand the seriousness of the consequences that can follow a conviction for driving while intoxicated. These consequences are commonly thought to include both a fine and a period of incarceration. Minnesota has now added another feature to this list: a Chemical Assessment, or, as it is sometimes called, a “Rule 25 Assessment.”
A Chemical Assessment is an evaluation tool used to determine if a person has a substance use disorder (SUD) with alcohol or drugs and, if the diagnosis is positive, the appropriate level of treatment for the individual.
Anyone seeking financial assistance for a drug or alcohol treatment program or anyone convicted of a DWI or DUI will be required to participate in a chemical assessment. The court that orders the chemical assessment will require the individual to follow all recommendations made during the assessment process.
What happens in a chemical assessment?
All chemical assessments have mandatory elements, including:
- A diagnostic test
- Review of medical, legal, mental health and treatment records
- A physical health screening
- A mental health screening
- Evaluating the need for detox services
- Interviews with other people in the patient’s life
- Review of court records (such as from a DWI/DUI charge)
The test subject can fill out the form or give the information to the treatment professional administering the treatment. The defendant can select any of the hundreds of different treatment options that exist in the state.
Many people simply call their local alcohol and drug treatment center for their alcohol or drug assessment. The income of many treatment centers depends on the ability of the center to attract patients. Independent assessment centers are not biased by this income requirement, and their services are generally more reliable.
Exploring your options
The Rule 25 program has many options. Anyone ordered to complete a Rule 25 assessment may wish to consult a knowledgeable attorney or licensed Rule 25 assessor for advice on selecting the agency to administer the test.