By: Twibell Pierson
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What Is A Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program?
What is a Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program?
Missouri’s Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program (SATOP) offers treatment and education to people charged with substance-related driving offenses. SATOPs cover charges for DUIs, DWIs, chemical test refusal, and minors in possession. In Missouri, offenders who wish to regain lost driving privileges must complete the state-certified SATOP.
What is Included in a Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program?
The SATOP seeks to educate drivers with substance abuse issues on the dangers of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Lessons tackle decision-making practices and developing motivation to change harmful behavior patterns. Overall, the program seeks to rehabilitate individuals so that they can work towards personal growth and change.
Depending on the nature of the offense, individuals may be required to complete any of the following programs:
All offenders must undergo a preliminary screening process before beginning a SATOP course. During the screening, the offender will complete a series of interviews with a qualified substance abuse counselor.
The screening is conducted at a certified SATOP Offender Management Unit (OMU). The driver may choose from any of the approved OMUs and must contact the OMU themselves to make an appointment for screening.
During the screening, the offender must submit to a test of their blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time of the incident. The offender must also complete a driving record check and complete a written Driver Risk Inventory-II test. The Driver Risk Inventory test is comprised of 84 true or false questions and 56 multiple choice questions and takes an average of 20-25 minutes to complete. The test is measured on the following scales:
- Truthfulness Scale. The truthfulness scale detects any denials the driver may give to make their case seem less severe.
- Alcohol Scale. The alcohol scale is used to identify the driver’s level of substance abuse and alcohol-related problems.
- Drugs Scale. The drug scale measures the driver’s use of and abuse of illicit substances.
- Substance Abuse/Dependency Scale. This scale measures substance abuse using the American Psychiatric Association’s criteria.
- Driver Risk Scale. This scale identifies any dangerous driving behaviors independent of substance use.
- Stress Coping Abilities Scale. This scale measures the driver’s emotional response to stressful situations.
The information gathered is then used to assess the level of education the individual will require and create a customized treatment plan. Based on the assessment, the individual will be recommended to an intervention, education, or rehabilitation program.
Offender Education Programs
The Offender Education Program (OEP) and Adolescent Diversion Education Program (ADEP) are offered to first-time offenders. Each program consists of a ten-hour session that will cover topics such as DWI law, victim impact, physical and psychological effects of alcohol and drug use, and lessons on how to avoid driving under the influence. The OEP is the most basic SATOP course.
The OEP is available to first-time offenders over 21 years of age who live independently, while the ADEP is available to those under the age of 21 who live with a parent or guardian.
Weekend Intervention Program
The Weekend Intervention Program (WIP) is offered to individuals with two substance-related driving offenses or individuals whose relation to substances is becoming problematic. The 48-hour intervention program is available with assisted funding from the state of Missouri for individuals who qualify.
Clinical Intervention Program
Individuals with multiple DUIs or substance-related offenses may take the Clinical Intervention Program. The program can also benefit those whose substance abuse has begun to interfere in their daily lives.
The CIP is a 50-hour counseling program that helps individuals recognize problems in their daily patterns and develop a solution to achieve sobriety. As with other programs, state funding assistance is available to individuals who qualify.
Level Four Counselling
Level four counseling services are available to individuals who have previously received substance abuse treatments but who have developed a dependency on drugs or alcohol and require further treatment. The program is 75 hours and helps individuals tackle complex substance abuse issues. Currently, no state funding is available for level four counseling.
How Much Does a SATOP Cost?
The goal of the SATOP is for it to be accessible to as many people as possible. Depending on the program, government funding may be available. If individuals are paying out of pocket, the approximate SATOP costs are broken down as follows (as of March 2021, please confirm with your local SATOP for specific figures):
- Screening Fee and DMH Supplemental Fee: $126 and $249, respectively
- Offender Education Program: $200
- ADEP: $200
- Weekend Intervention Program: $467.45
- Clinical Intervention Program: $1067.42
- Level Four: $1500
Criminal Defense Attorneys
If you’ve been charged with a DWI or other traffic offense in Missouri, call us today at (417) 862-1741 to discuss your options. Our lawyers have years of experience in substance-related driving offenses and are ready to help you through it.