A DUI charge is a long an arduous process that is not something that can be taken care of over the weekend. Handling the aftermath of the charges can take weeks, or even months.
When you’re faced with steep fines, the possible loss of your license, and even jail time, you want to look into any way you can make things better for yourself in the long run.
DUI counseling may sound extreme and not a very desirable way to spend your free time, but it could be what you need to turn things around. Sometimes attendance of DUI counseling is optional but, in other cases, you may not have a choice.
Here is some more information on what to expect from DUI counseling classes.
What is DUI Counseling?
DUI counseling is a series of courses that are centered around substance abuse, driving, and behavior. In some cases, they may even include an assessment for substance abuse treatment.
The classes are designed to teach people with DUIs about the effect alcohol can have on the human body. Some may also focus on the dangers of driving under prescribed or illegal drugs as well.
DUI counseling is like traditional school in a sense, because you may be expected to take quizzes or tests on what you’ve learned. Group discussions and activities can also be a part of your classes.
The length of time you’ll be in counseling will depend on your risk classification. You may only go for a few hours on a single day, or you may attend multiple classes over a series of weeks.
Unlike other states, Illinois takes DUI counseling very seriously. Every person who pleads guilty or is found guilty of DUI in the state of Illinois, must get a DUI evaluation through an evaluator before sentencing.
In fact, each county in the state has multiple DUI evaluators. Most courthouses also have a list of pre-approved evaluators.
Should I Go to DUI Counseling?
The answer to this question will always be an enthusiastic yes.
DUI counseling will play an important part of your sentence. If you refuse to go, or miss classes, it won’t look good to a judge.
Not attending classes could also cause change the terms of your release. If you choose to not attend, you may find yourself with higher fines. In more severe cases your license may be suspended or revoked or you may go to jail.
If you’re being given the option of attending DUI counseling, always agree to. A willingness to go to the class can look very good to judges and show that you’re serious about learning and moving on from your mistakes.
The Benefits of Going to DUI Counseling
For many people, the benefits of going to DUI counseling begin and end at what it can do for you legally. Completing DUI school could help ensure that you get your license reinstated and reduced fines, but it can do a lot more.
You may not be excited about having to go to DUI counseling but attending classes can make a lot of positive changes in your life.
After you learn about how it can help you, giving up a few hours to go won’t seem like such a chore.
Be Around Others in the Same Situation
Let’s face it, you’re probably pretty embarrassed about getting a DUI. You may be reluctant to mention what happened to friends, family, or co-workers, let alone talk about how the whole ordeal made you feel.
When you’re in a DUI class, you’ll be with people that are in the exact same position as you. Some might be in their first class, others could be in their third, but you’ll all have your situations in common.
Don’t be shy when you’re in class, participate with everyone else. You may end up making a new friend or learning more about yourself.
Honestly Assess the Situation
You tell yourself that you only had two or three drinks the day you got your DUI. Speed limits were obeyed, you were driving as safely as you could, and you thought you’d be home in no time.
The police officer that pulled you over reported that you were swerving in and out of traffic, driving 20 MPH above the speed limit, and blew a BAC that was almost twice over the legal limit.
Is it possible that the police officer is lying, or could it be that you’re lying to yourself? Everyone likes to think of their DUI as a one-time big mistake, but what if you keep finding yourself in trouble?
It can be hard to lie to yourself about the situation when you’re surrounded by experts and like-minded people. Taking a DUI class can help you honestly break down what happened when you got the DUI.
The classes will give you some time to honestly reflect on what happened. You may ask yourself if this was truly the first time you’ve ever driven under the influence or is this just the first time you were caught.
Get the Help You Need
Only one part of DUI counseling is educating you on the negative effects of alcohol. Other parts of classes will focus on the dangers of alcoholism and substance abuse, and how to get the help you need.
Some parts of the class may focus on how to help you avoid situations where you could drink alcohol in excess or use drugs. They can give you helpful coping strategies that can teach you to say no, or to remove yourself from the situation.
In many cases, DUI counseling has information on hand for in-patient and out-patient rehab sources. You may also find information on support groups, counseling, and other addiction resources.
Now that you know the benefits of DUI counseling, you’re ready to do what you can to get your life back on track and overcome your DUI charges.
It’s time to contact us so we can start talking about the best way to help you in the process of driver’s license reinstatement. We can help you get back on the road in no time.
In the meantime, answer some of your most pressing questions by checking out our FAQ page and educate yourself on Illinois DUIs.