Montana Code Annotated 2021

TITLE 61. MOTOR VEHICLES

CHAPTER 8. TRAFFIC REGULATION

Part 10. Driving Under Influence of Alcohol or Drugs

Driving Under Influence -- Assessment, Education, And Treatment Required

61-8-1009. (Effective January 1, 2022) Driving under influence -- assessment, education, and treatment required. (1) In addition to the punishments provided in 61-8-1007 and 61-8-1008, regardless of disposition, a defendant convicted of a violation of driving under the influence, including 61-8-1002, an offense that meets the definition of aggravated driving under the influence in 61-8-1001, or a similar offense under previous laws of this state or the laws of another state shall complete a chemical dependency assessment and:

(a) for a first conviction, except as provided in subsection (8)(b), a chemical dependency education course; and

(b) for a second or subsequent conviction for a violation of driving under the influence, including 61-8-1002(1)(a), (1)(b), (1)(c), or (1)(d), an offense that meets the definition of aggravated driving under the influence in 61-8-1001, or a similar offense under previous laws of this state or the laws of another state, except a fourth or subsequent conviction for which the defendant completes a residential alcohol treatment program under 61-8-1008(1)(a)(i), or as required by subsection (8) of this section, chemical dependency treatment.

(2) The sentencing judge may, in the judge's discretion, require the defendant to complete the chemical dependency assessment prior to sentencing the defendant. If the assessment is not ordered or completed before sentencing, the judge shall order the chemical dependency assessment as part of the sentence.

(3) The chemical dependency assessment and the chemical dependency education course must be completed at a treatment program approved by the department of public health and human services and must be conducted by a licensed addiction counselor. Approved programs must be evidence-based programs. The defendant may attend a treatment program of the defendant's choice as long as the treatment services are provided by a licensed addiction counselor. The defendant shall pay the cost of the assessment, the education course, and chemical dependency treatment and may use health insurance to cover the costs when possible.

(4) The assessment must describe the defendant's level of addiction, if any, and contain a recommendation as to education, treatment, or both. The assessment must conform to quality standards required by the department of public health and human services. A defendant who disagrees with the initial assessment may, at the defendant's cost, obtain a second assessment provided by a licensed addiction counselor or a program approved by the department of public health and human services.

(5) The treatment provided to the defendant at a treatment program must be at a level appropriate to the defendant's alcohol or drug problem, or both, as determined by a licensed addiction counselor pursuant to diagnosis and patient placement rules adopted by the department of public health and human services. The rules must include evidence-based treatment programs or courses approved by the department that are likely to reduce recidivism. Upon determination, the court shall order the defendant's appropriate level of treatment. If more than one counselor makes a determination as provided in this subsection, the court shall order an appropriate level of treatment based on the determination of one of the counselors.

(6) Each counselor providing education or treatment shall, at the commencement of the education or treatment, notify the court that the defendant has been enrolled in a chemical dependency education course or treatment program. If the defendant fails to attend the course or treatment program, the counselor shall notify the court of the failure.

(7) A court or counselor may not require attendance at a self-help program other than at an open meeting, as that term is defined by the self-help program. A defendant may voluntarily participate in self-help programs.

(8) (a) Chemical dependency treatment must be ordered for a first-time or second-time offender convicted of a violation of driving under the influence, including 61-8-1002, an offense that meets the definition of aggravated driving under the influence in 61-8-1001, or a similar offense under previous laws of this state or the laws of another state upon a finding of moderate or severe alcohol or drug use disorder made by a licensed addiction counselor pursuant to diagnosis and patient placement rules adopted by the department of public health and human services.

(b) If treatment is ordered under subsection (8)(a) for a first-time offender, the offender may not also be required to attend a chemical dependency education course.

(9) (a) On a second or subsequent conviction, the treatment program provided for in subsection (5) must be followed by monthly monitoring for a period of at least 1 year from the date of admission to the program.

(b) If a defendant fails to comply with the monitoring program imposed under subsection (9)(a), the court shall revoke the suspended sentence, if any, impose any remaining portion of the suspended sentence, and may include additional monthly monitoring for up to an additional 1 year.

(10) Notwithstanding 46-18-201(2), whenever a judge suspends a sentence imposed under 61-8-1007 and orders the person to complete chemical dependency treatment under this section, the judge retains jurisdiction to impose any suspended sentence for up to 1 year.

History: En. Sec. 5, Ch. 498, L. 2021.