If you have been convicted a drug or alcohol-related driving offense in the state of Illinois, you may be ordered to complete an alcohol/drug remedial education course before you are able to have your driving privileges reinstated. Dolci & Weiland's team of DUI defense attorneys believe that it is critical to understand the purpose of an alcohol/drug remedial education course, as well as the repercussions that can result from failure to complete the course.
Illinois Convictions Requiring Alcohol/Drug Education Courses
In the state of Illinois, any person who is convicted or pleads guilty to driving under the influence is required to complete an alcohol/drug remedial education course before his or her driving privileges can be reinstated.
A person can also be subject to an alcohol/drug remediation course if he or she violates the state's Zero Tolerance Law, which prohibits a person under the age of 21 from having even the slightest trace of alcohol in his or her system while driving. For example, a 19-year-old who has a blood alcohol content of .02 can be charged with a violation of Illinois' Zero Tolerance Law and ordered to undergo an alcohol/drug remedial education course.
What to Expect During an Alcohol/Drug Education Course in Illinois
The purpose of an alcohol/drug remedial education course is to provide education for those who have been charged with alcohol or drug-related driving offenses. In order to fulfill the requirements of the Illinois Secretary of State, a remedial education course must cover the following topics:
- Information on alcohol as a drug, and the effects that the drug can have on a person's health;
- The widespread issue of driving under the influence in the state of Illinois, including statistics about DUI prevalence and injuries/deaths resulting from driving under the influence;
- The effect of alcohol and other forms of drugs on an individual's well-being;
- The effects that alcoholism and drug dependency can have on an individual who is suffering from the disease, along with the effects that dependency can have on the person's family and loved ones;
- Avenues of assistance for those who are facing issues related to alcohol/drug abuse;
- Education about other forms of drugs--both legal and illegal--and their effects on driving when used alone or in conjunction with alcohol;
- Effects of alcohol and other drugs on a person's ability to operate a vehicle safely; and
- Blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) and the effect a person's BAC can have on his or her ability to drive.
Drug and alcohol awareness classes in Illinois are generally computer-based, self-paced programs which allow a person to complete the program at a time which works for his or her schedule.
There is no set provider which a person must use in order to complete his or her remediation course--rather, each county has several providers that a person convicted of DUI can choose from. A person who is ordered to complete an alcohol/drug remedial education course must choose a course which meets the court's requirements.
In many cases, remedial education programs in Illinois give pre-tests at the beginning of the course in order to gauge a person's knowledge of alcohol and drugs before the course has started. In addition, a post-test is usually administered after the course is complete to determine whether a participant of the course has improved his or her knowledge of the effects of drugs and alcohol on driving capability.
After enrolling in a remedial education program following a DUI or other alcohol or drug-related driving charge, you will be assessed by an evaluator to determine the level of risk that you will drive under the influence again in the future. Four risk levels exist in Illinois, and remedial education varies based on your level of risk:
- Minimal risk: minimum of ten hours of remedial education
- Moderate risk: minimum of 10 hours of remedial education and 12 hours of an intervention program;
- Significant risk: minimum of 10 hours of remedial education and minimum of 20 hours of outpatient substance abuse treatment
- High risk: minimum of 10 hours of remedial education and minimum of 75 hours of outpatient substance abuse treatment.
In order to reinstate your license, you must obtain a certificate from an administrator of the course from which you chose to obtain your alcohol/drug remedial education. This certificate will state that you have completed the course in its entirety.
Penalties for Failing to Complete the Course
Regardless of the findings of the evaluator, completion of the program is not optional for those who have had their license revoked; the individual must complete the remedial education program in its entirety, even if the evaluator in the course does not recommend treatment. Until the program is completed, a person who has a revoked driver's license will be unable to reinstate his or her license in the state of Illinois.
Failure to complete an alcohol/drug remedial education course has an even more substantial effect on repeat offenders; a person who fails to complete the course and is caught driving with a suspended license will be convicted of a Class 4 felony, which can carry a prison sentence of up to three years.
Facing an Alcohol/Drug Remediation Course After a DUI? We Can Help
If you are facing a driving charge involving drugs or alcohol in the state of Illinois, you may be confused about the next steps to take in order to work toward reinstating your driving privileges. The DUI attorneys at Dolci & Weiland are dedicated to providing legal assistance to those facing a charge of driving under the influence, as well as providing information to educate those who have been charged about what steps need to be taken to reinstate their driver's license.
For questions about your DUI charge, or to learn more about the steps which must be taken in order to reinstate your license after a drug or alcohol-related charge, fill out an online case evaluation form or contact the Dolci & Weiland office nearest to you today--for our DuPage office, call (630) 261-9098, or for our downtown Chicago location, call (312) 238-9007.