In Illinois anyone arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs must undergo a drug and alcohol evaluation for sentencing purposes. Evaluations can also be conducted when requesting reinstatement of driving privileges. Joliet, Plainfield, and other Will County area residents should be informed of what this evaluation is because it can have serious repercussions on the consequences of a DUI arrest.

The state requires drug and alcohol evaluations to determine a defendant’s history with drugs/ alcohol and assess any risk the defendant may pose to society. Evaluators conduct an interview with the defendant and also consider the defendant’s driving record, blood alcohol test results, and also Objective test scores and category. During the interview, Evaluators are particularly concerned with past and current drug and alcohol use as it pertains to driving. Any inconsistencies between the defendant’s responses and the record may result in a denial of driving privileges, delays in DUI sentencing or consideration of driving privileges, or an order for a new evaluation at the defendants expense.

Once the Evaluation is completed, the defendant is assigned a risk classification, from minimal to high risk, and a recommendation is made to the Court. Each level of risk carries with it a recommended course of education or treatment. For instance, a recommendation for minimal risk might require completion of 10 hours of DUI Risk Education, and, a high risk recommendation might require 75 hours of drug abuse treatment and participation in ongoing treatment plans. The Court will ultimately decide what level of risk the defendant poses, and the higher the risk, the greater sanction to be enforced. If the evaluation is for the return of driving privileges, the defendant will be required to complete the recommended course of education or treatment.

Defendants have the right to reject completed recommendations, withdraw from an ongoing evaluation, or get a second opinion from another evaluator. However, any information the defendant has provided can be sent to the Court or the Secretary of State.

Evaluators are professionals and licensed by the State. There are many evaluation centers located throughout Will County. Joliet, Plainfield and other Will County residents can visit the Will County Public Defender Website, for a list of centers, addresses and phone numbers. To speak with a lawyer who has experience representing clients who have been charged with a DUI, please contact Hamilton & Antonsen at 815.729.9220 to set up a complimentary consultation.

Written by: John Kunze