Do I Need a DUI Evaluation?
Remember the things you do don’t define who you are, and working through the process that is now in place because of your DUI arrest can help you change the way you do things for the better. The State of Illinois requires a DUI evaluation before a case for DUI can be closed and Braden Counseling offers services to those who have been arrested for DUI. DUI evaluations and all levels of DUI treatment are available in all office locations, and financial assistance is available for those who qualify.
Sometimes we are able to plan our lives very effectively. At other times, we are not as efficient. For these reasons, we offer DUI evaluations to be completed in one day. At times you will not be able to obtain all the necessary documents before your appointment. That’s okay, keep your appointment and get the evaluation process started. Remember though, you only have 30 days from the start of the evaluation to submit the remaining documents so we can finish it.
You will need to bring these documents to your appointment, or have your attorney send them to us.
- Statutory Summary Suspension – This is typically given to you the day of your arrest, and is on thin white paper (like tracing paper). If you were in an accident or provided a blood or urine sample for the police, you may not have this document yet. In these situations, you can often bring your police report providing it has the date and time of arrest, BAC if you completed the test, or documentation that you refused to provide a breath, blood, or urine.
- Driving Abstract for Court Purposes – This is obtained from the Illinois Drivers Facility (Dept. of Motor Vehicles). There is a $12 charge for this document and you must go to the facility with identification to obtain it. They have a form there you can fill out if you need someone else to get this document for you. You cannot use a driving record you get online or from the court.
DUI evaluation appointments generally last about 2 hours. When the evaluation is completed, you will receive two copies so you can keep one and give the other to your attorney.
Consequences for Being Arrested for a DUI in Illinois
All 50 states define driving under the influence (DUI) as getting behind the wheel with a recorded blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. Each state defines the penalties associated with a DUI differently.
In the state of Illinois, a DUI arrest can land you in jail, and/or seriously impact your right to drive legally. If your license is suspended, you will usually pay a reinstatement fee and take some education classes.
Once you send in your fee and receive notification from the Secretary of State that your driving privileges have been reinstated, you are good to go.
At this point any court requirements still outstanding need to be completed, but do not keep you from driving.
If, on the other hand, your driving privileges have been revoked, the process changes. People who have had their driving privileges revoked must:
1. Undergo a DUI Evaluation,
2. Complete any recommended treatment, and
3. Schedule a hearing with a Secretary of State Hearing Officer.
Governing Illinois Statute Requiring a DUI Evaluation
The statute that requires the evaluation is in the Illinois Vehicle Code at 625 ILCS 5/11-501.01(a). It reads:
After a finding of guilt and prior to any final sentencing or an order for supervision, for an offense based upon an arrest for a violation of Section 11-501 or a similar provision of a local ordinance, individuals shall be required to undergo a professional evaluation to determine if an alcohol, drug, or intoxicating compound abuse problem exists and the extent of the problem and undergo the imposition of treatment as appropriate.
The state of Illinois takes DUI offenses very seriously. In fact, driving under the influence is one of two offenses in Illinois that mandates an offender undergo an evaluation prior to sentencing.
The other offense mandating evaluation is a felony sex offense.
The purpose of a DUI evaluation is to determine whether you pose a risk to public safety with your alcohol and/or drug use. The evaluation is used by the Secretary of State License Reinstatement, and in some cases by the court, as a sentencing tool. Note that the statute requires both an evaluation and recommendations for treatment that results from the evaluation.
During the evaluation, one of our counselors/examiners interviews the defendant specifically about his or her alcohol and drug use, both past and present. If appropriate, the person’s partner is also interviewed.
The interview consists of a counselor collecting information about:
- Client’s demographic information
- Most recent DUI arrest in detail
- Prior drug and alcohol-related offenses, including supervisions and convictions for a DUI
- Specific questions about other substance-related arrests, including zero tolerance, illegal transportation, and other arrests for substance abuse
- Detailed alcohol/drug abuse history, including alcohol, legal drugs, and prescription medications. Includes significant other interview and prior treatment program completion relevant to the current case
- Questionnaire information and summary of the findings
- Summary of evaluation and clinical findings
- Assignment of risk levels
Purpose of DUI Evaluation
The evaluation is meant to determine if the substance use history of the person arrested for DUI creates a risk to public safety.
As a result of the DUI Evaluation and risk levels, recommendations are assigned as follows:
- Minimal risk – 10 hours of DUI Risk Education
- Moderate risk– 10 hours DUI Risk Education followed by 12 hours of early intervention. Early intervention is provided over a minimum of four weeks. There can be only one day of classes each week and no more than three hours in that day. In addition, if recommended by the evaluation, the defendant will be required to participate in an on-going continuing care plan.3. Significant risk – 10 hours DUI Risk Education followed by 20 hours of substance abuse treatment. Mandatory participation in a continuing care plan.
- High risk – 75 hours of substance abuse treatment and after completion, and mandatory participation in a continuing care plan.
Drug and alcohol treatment requirements and education requirements are dependent upon the risk level classification assigned and often must be completed in order for reinstatement of driving privileges and could require alcohol counseling.
However, though evaluation sets the number of hours required, and what kind of out- or in-patient care should be mandated, the presiding judge has discretion with respect to the recommended amount of treatment.
The bottom line is that the defendant must complete the treatment recommended in the Alcohol and Drug Uniform Report to satisfy the statutory requirement (11-501.01(a)to “undergo the imposition of treatment as appropriate.”
How We Can Help
At Braden Counseling Center, we know that undertaking an evaluation is critical to the outcome of being arrested for a DUI.We work with you to ensure that you have the tools to resolve your substance abuse challenges, which will help you get your driving privileges reinstated.
Defendants undergoing DUI evaluations must be honest, consistent and non-evasive. If a judge reading an evaluation suspects that a defendant has been less than honest about his or her substance abuse, the consequences can be long-lasting.
For instance, any judge, or the prosecution, who has been offended by less than forthcoming answers on an evaluation could impose a conviction on a first offender, rather than allowing supervision. Doing so would result in a revoked license for a first DUI offense rather than a suspended license.
Anyone who has had their driving privileges revoked by the Secretary of State must face a hearing, either formal or informal. This is an adversarial process in which a prosecutor seeks to block reinstatement. The DUI evaluation is a pivotal piece that can be used for or against a defendant in a formal hearing, which is why it must be done right.
Contact us today, at one of our five centers, if you are facing an evaluation, or are in need of DUI counseling, and need help.