Michigan Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Guide to the DSM-5 for Substance Use Disorders

If your Michigan operator’s license has been revoked for multiple drunk driving arrests, then a hearing will be required before your license can be reinstated.  At this hearing, you will be required to submit a substance abuse evaluation.  This is defined by the applicable administrative rules as follows:

(o) “Substance abuse evaluation” means a written report regarding the petitioner on a form prescribed by the department that includes a statement of the testing instruments used and the test results, if any exist, a complete treatment and support group history, diagnoses, prognoses, and relapse histories, including those relapse histories that predate the beginning of the most recent treatment program.

To help lawyers understand what a substance abuse evaluation is and to help them understand how substance use disorders are diagnosed, Dr. Elizabeth Corby co-authored an article on this topic with Michigan DUI defense lawyer Patrick T. Barone.  The article is entitled Michigan Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Guide to the DSM-5 for Substance Use Disorders and appeared in the November 2016 SADO Criminal Defense Newsletter. This article covers the basics relative to how substance use disorders are evaluated for court purposes, including driver license restoration hearings.

This is an important article because many defense lawyers have little knowledge about the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), or even how substance use disorders are diagnosed.  And yet, as indicated, substance use evaluations are required for a driver license review hearing.  Also, the DSM is updated regularly, and the most recent update contains significant changes in the way substance use disordered are diagnosed.  There are new diagnostic codes as well, and a failure to use the updated information can result in a failure to meet your burden of proof at the driver license appeal hearing, even if all the other evidence you present is in order.

A copy of this article may be downloaded here.  Please contact Dr. Corby with any questions about the article, or to schedule a substance use evaluation.



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