Anyone in Chicago who is arrested for Driving Under the Influence of alcohol or drugs has to undergo what is known as a DUI evaluation before having their license reinstated, and even before being sentenced by a judge. The evaluation will help decide the sentence, and even directly decides certain penalties, as any treatment recommended in the evaluation, such as DUI classes, are legally required.
What is a DUI Evaluation Supposed to Determine?
The evaluation is meant to determine the habits of an individual, and paint a picture of what this person’s future actions are likely to involve. Based on a thorough examination of a person’s recorded history, test scores, and self descriptions in interviews, a pattern emerges. This pattern is interpreted to show whether a person is likely to repeat the offending acts and behaviors, or can easily be helped.
There are four separate parts of the evaluation, that are each reviewed at the end. The overarching purpose of the evaluation is to make a determination about whether an individual has a dug or alcohol problem, and to what extent it exists.
The first part is the driving history of the individual. A driving history is checked for everything from arrests to minor infractions to see if there are other indications that the individual has failed to take driving infractions seriously enough, or if, on the other hand, the person has a long, clean history to contrast with a single, isolated incident.
Next, the chemical test results are taken into consideration. This is the blood alcohol content, and will show the exact level of intoxication at the time of the incident.
The third part of the evaluation is a test known as the Objective Test. The scores of this test are used to help determine tendencies and personality traits that may show an ability to avoid future incidents or a likelihood to relapse.
The Interview Process in a Chicago DUI Evaluation
Finally, an interview is conducted by a counselor. The interview consists of a specific set of questions that are always the same, and it is designed to delve into the individual’s past and present use of alcohol and drugs, especially in relation to the driving history of the person. Statements made during the interview are thoroughly checked against not only the driving history, but the chemical testing and Objective Test and any other information available. If there are found to be any false statements that were made, the interviewer will confront the individual being interviewed with these inconsistencies. If the inconsistencies aren’t addressed properly, the evaluation can actually be thrown out at this point and may have to be restarted at a later time.
The entire evaluation process can be completed in as little as an hour and a half.
At the conclusion of the evaluation, these four parts are reviewed together and a final evaluation is made, along with recommendations for the treatment that is deemed to be most fitting for the person being evaluated.
Risk Assessment Based on Your DUI Evaluation
A person can be placed into one of four different levels of risk. Level 1 is considered minimal risk, and the typical recommendation is at least 10 hours of driver education, or DUI classes. Level 2 is a moderate risk, and will be given the ten hours of classes, along with at least twelve hours of intervention counseling and other additional continuing care recommendations. Level 3 is a significant risk, will include the same programs as level 2 recommendations with an added 8 hours of intervention counseling. Level 4 is the category of high risk or dependent individuals, and this category is assigned either inpatient treatment or intensive outpatient treatment of at least 75 hours, along with other continuing care recommendations.
The evaluation goes further than these categories, and specifically notes the character of the person being evaluated. The evaluation makes an assessment of the person’s honesty, candor, consistency and directness. This all plays a role in the eventual decision of a judge.
The evaluation will also be brought up in the separate hearing that decides whether a driver’s license is reinstated or not. This formal hearing is an administrative process, and the evaluation is the key piece of information that is looked at.
In Cook County, all evaluations are done by DUI Alcohol and Drug Evaluation Services. The responsibility for paying for the evaluation lies solely with the person being evaluated. Many people choose to consult with an attorney before being evaluated because of the serious consequences of a failed evaluation.