What forms of payment do you accept?
I accept cash, check, money order, or credit/debit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover).
What is the minimum wait time for an appointment?
There is no wait time for an appointment for an evaluation or to start classes, although availability of appointments is based on our schedule.
What do I need to bring to my appointment?
- The paperwork needed for appointments varies and depends on the type of evaluation or service.
DUI Evaluations: Please bring “Court Driver’s Abstract”, (which can be obtained for $12.00 at any Secretary of State Driver’s License Facility), and Notice of Statutory Summary Suspension – given to you at the time of arrest by the arresting officer.
- Secretary of State Administrative Hearing Evaluation: Please bring “Court Driver’s Abstract” (which can be obtained for $12.00 at any Secretary of State Driver’s License Facility), Treatment/Counseling including Risk Education Treatment Documentation, and any prior DUI Evaluations.
If I have been arrested for DUI, but not convicted, can I still drive?
For 45 days after a DUI arrest, your license is still valid, and you can drive. On the 46th days, the statutory summary suspension will go into effect, and your license is no longer valid. Information about when the suspension goes into effect can be found on the “Notice to Motorist” you got at the time of arrest, and the Secretary of State will mail you a Confirmation of Suspension Letter.
How long is the Statutory Summary Suspension?
For 1st time DUI arrests, the suspension is 6 months if a breathalyzer was completed and 12 months if testing was refused. A person is considered a 1st time offender, for the suspension, if any prior DUI was more than 5 years previous. For 2nd arrest within 5 years, the suspension is 1 year if a breathalyzer was done and 3 years if testing was refused.
Can I drive during suspension?
Yes, the state offers a specialized permit which allows driving during suspension as long as an ignition interlock device (BAIID) is installed. The state will send information about how to take advantage of this option. For 2nd arrests within 5 years, this permit is not available. Driving privileges can only be obtained through the Administrative Hearing Process with the Secretary of State.
When do I need to complete the DUI Evaluation?
The DUI evaluation must be completed prior to being sentenced for the DUI. It is recommended to acquire the evaluation as soon as possible.
If I have a prior DUI conviction, do I need to get a new evaluation?
Yes, a new DUI Evaluation is required for any separate DUI arrest.
Can I complete the DUI Evaluation anywhere?
This depends on the county of arrest. Arrests in Lake, Cook, and DuPage Counties require DUI evaluations to be completed through their services. All other counties allow the use of any private provider, such as First Choice DUI & Counseling Services.
Can I complete the required Treatment anywhere?
This depends on the county of arrest. DuPage County Requires that all Treatment be obtained through one of their Preferred Service Provider. First Choice DUI & Counseling Services is a preferred Provider for DuPage County Courts. All other counties allow the use of any private provider, such as First Choice DUI & Counseling.
How much does a DUI Evaluation Cost:
The cost of a DUI Evaluation is $300.00. Results from a DUI Evaluation or Secretary of State Evaluation typically take 3-7 days to be received. I can expedite this process if needed. Please just let me know your time frame when calling, so I can let you know in advance if it can be accommodated.
How long does it take to get my DUI Evaluation results?
Results from a DUI Evaluation or SOS Evaluation typically take 3-7 days to be received. I can expedite this process if needed. Please just let me know your time frame when calling, so I can let you know in advance if it can be accommodated.
What factors affect the results of a DUI Evaluation?
The State of Illinois uses three criteria to place people into different classification levels. These are: number of prior DUI offenses, results of breathalyzer or refusal of testing at the time of arrest, and a number of symptoms of a use disorder exhibited by the individual.
I have a prior DUI 10 or more years ago. Will that be taken into account?
Yes, DUI’s are permanent on a person’s driving record, thus that information will be added to your evaluation and will affect the classification level.
I was found not guilty of a past DUI. Will that be taken into account?
Maybe. If the Statutory Suspension associated with that arrest was not rescinded and is still noted on your driving record then yes, that must be put in your evaluation and will affect the outcome. If you were found not guilty and had the suspension rescinded, then no, it will no longer be noted on the driving record in a way that can be added to the evaluation.
How do I get started with the DUI counseling or Education?
There is initial paperwork that needs to be completed, and I will need a copy of your DUI evaluation. This can be done online or in person. There is also an assessment that needs to be completed prior to any DUI counseling classes. This can be done over the phone or in person. Please contact me via phone or email to start the intake process.
How quickly can I complete my DUI classes?
This depends on the classification your evaluation designated you. For some classes, you are only allowed to participate 1x per week and for others, you can participate 3x per week.
Can I complete the DUI counseling and Risk Education at the same time?
Yes, I do allow the programs to be completed simultaneously.
Can I do my DUI classes via Telehealth?
Yes, I are able to pre-schedule your appointments so that you can attend them remotely.
What is the difference between a DUI Evaluation and SOS Evaluation?
A DUI Evaluation is the initial Evaluation a person must obtained when going to court for a DUI Arrest. This evaluation will determine how many hours of education and/or counseling must be completed. I use the term SOS (Secretary of State) Evaluation for the evaluation that must be obtained in order to seek license reinstatement after a person’s license is revoked.
What is the costs of an SOS Evaluation?
The cost of an evaluation for license reinstatement is $330.00. There may also be other fees for any additional paperwork that is needed. This fee includes all of the evaluation paperwork (evaluation, alcohol/drug history, treatment needs assessment) needed for a hearing along with guidance and preparation for the hearing process. This additional guidance is not offered by most other agencies.
Why do I need an SOS evaluation if I already got a DUI Evaluation?
Evaluations are only considered valid for 6 months. For most people by the time they are ready to apply for license reinstatement, their initial DUI evaluation is no longer valid, and the state requires a new or updated evaluation. Most often, there is also information in the initial DUI Evaluation that will interfere with getting your license reinstated. The new SOS evaluation gives you the opportunity to present information in a way that optimizes your chances for success at a hearing.
I completed all my court requirements. Won’t I just get my license back?
No, a revoked license is an administrative penalty separate from the court system. You must now complete an Administrative Hearing with the Illinois Secretary of State in order to get your license reinstated.
My license is revoked for 1 year. Will I get my license back at the end of that year?
Automatically, no, and while the revocation has a set timeframe, a revocation is technically indefinite. The state does not ever have to reinstate your license. It is up to you to petition for your reinstatement, attend an administrative hearing, and provide to the state you are no longer a risk as a driver.
When can I start the process of obtaining License Reinstatement?
It is recommended that you start the process as soon as you complete all of your required treatment, even if your set revocation period is not up yet. This is because the SOS will usually put you on a restrictive driving permit first before reinstating your full driving privileges. It shortens the process if you have the restricted driving permit during your revocation period. Then, you can get your full license as soon as the revocation period ends.
What determines the length of revocation?
The length of revocation is determined by the number of DUI convictions you have. The important thing to note is, it is the number of convictions not the number of DUI arrests; there is a difference.
How do I prove that I am no longer a risk as a driver?
There are a few specific criteria the state looks at here. They are whether or not a person has assessed their past issues with alcohol and can honestly speak about them, and whether or not a person can show they have made significant changes to their alcohol use and lifestyle.
What do I need to bring to the hearing?
The most important things are the Evaluation and verification on any DUI classes and Risk Education completed. If you were assigned High Risk Classification, you need to provide documentation of abstinence and your support system. The Secretary of State provides a list of all the hearing requirements. (allow them to click on which will take them to this website:
I completed my DUI classes years ago. What if I no longer have any proof?
Don’t worry you are not the only one. If you do not have proof of completing the DUI counseling, this is not a problem. There is additional paperwork I do, that is part of the SOS evaluation, that will satisfy the state’s requirement for proof of DUI counseling. As for the Risk Ed, if that was required of you, and you do not have proof, you will have to re-take the course.
I have been told everyone gets denied at their first hearing. Is this true?
While the hearing process can be challenging, if you are prepared with the right paperwork and answers for the state’s questions, then it is entirely possible to be successful at your first hearing.
State’s questions; What will they be asking me?
At the hearing, a hearing officer will be asking you very specific questions about your DUI arrests, past and present alcohol/drug use, what you learned in your classes, what changes you have made in your life to prevent another DUI, and if you are classified as High Risk, about your support system. This is why it is of upmost importance that you be prepared for the hearing.
Do I need an attorney for the hearing process?
An attorney is not required, but highly recommended to better your chances of success. Should you be interested in working with an attorney, I can help you find one. It is important that the attorney specializes in or at least frequently does license reinstatement hearings.
Will I need to have an Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID)?
Most likely, yes. A BAIID device is required to drive while on a restricted permit unless you only have one DUI arrest. The length of time on a permit and with a BAIID (again please allow them to click on this and be taken to this website/resource -https://www.ilsos.gov/departments/BAIID/home.html)
device depends on your length of revocation.
I have been driving on a restricted permit. What happens next?
After you have been approved for and driving with a restricted permit for the designated amount of time, you will have to go through the hearing process again to receive full license reinstatement. Unfortunately, this also means obtaining a new updated evaluation to again present at the next hearing.
I was denied at my hearing. What do I do?
The denial letter you received needs to be addressed by a treatment provider/evaluator, and chances are, you will need new evaluation paperwork. I will help you sort through the reasons for the denial and provide expert guidance on how to overcome the same issues at your subsequent hearing.