Addiction to alcohol and other drugs obviously contributes to many arrests for DUI in Los Angeles. But could repeat DUI offenses also be an indicator that a person has a mental health disorder? The San Joaquin Superior Court’s Collaborative Courts Department will be working with Harvard Medical School to try to find out.
Recordnet.com reports that the court will be serving as one of six test sites for a Computerized Assessment and Referral System (CARS) developed by Harvard Medical School’s Division on Addiction of Cambridge Health Alliance and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility. The court’s case managers and substance abusers have already begun screening repeat DUI offenders using the system.
CARS asks repeat offenders a series of questions about signs and symptoms of mental health issues within the past year and during their lifetime. It identifies 15 specific mental health disorders for which they might be at risk, including depression, anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and bipolar disorder. The system then generates a report to the court that suggests treatments and provides a list of referrals to providers who could offer help.