What Are The Different Risk Classifications In Illinois?
There are four classifications of an individual who has his or her license revoked because of a DUI type case. There is a Level 1, which is a 10-hour program and is generally for a first time offender who blows into the machine, and blows below a 0.15 on the night of arrest. The person is not considered a dependent individual, they are not considered a problem drinker. In fact, the 10-hour class is an education class. It’s not considered treatment. The classifications above that are all considered treatment type classes. The next level is a Level 2 moderate, which is a 20-hour program. The 20-hour program Level 2 moderate is for a first time DUI person who blows in the machine and blows above a 0.15, or a person who refuses to blow into the machine.
Then we have the two most severe, which is a Level 2 significant risk, which is a 30-hour program. Last there is a Level 3 classification, which is a 75-hour program. Generally speaking, those are for individuals with two or more DUIs. It will automatically start at having you on a Level 2 significant 30-hour program. You can be a Level 3 even if you have one DUI, if when you go on in and do the evaluation, and they ask you about how alcohol has impacted you in your life, in terms of what is your drinking or drug use pattern, and you have a severe drug use or drinking pattern. I drink a pint of alcohol every day and I do drugs on the weekend, you can have one DUI and they can put you at the highest classification, a 75-hour alcoholic or dependent individual that is on drugs and alcohol.
The general rule is if you have two or more DUIs, then you start off at a Level 2 significant and 30-hour program, or you are a Level 3 individual with a 75-hour program. Everything is dependent on what your drinking pattern has been like, and what symptoms you have of drug and alcohol abuse and dependency. You can’t say that because the guy has two DUIs he is automatically going to be a Level 2 significant risk, because he could be a Level 3, a 75-hour program, if he goes in there and he is truthful at the evaluation, and he describes a very increased amount of drug and/or alcohol use.
What Are The Common Reasons That A Secretary Of State Would Deny Someone Driving Relief?
The two most common reasons that a Secretary of State would deny someone driving relief are inconsistency of testimony and unreasonable nature of a person’s testimony. A less common reason would be that they thought that the documents themselves were lacking. The first major reason is an inconsistency between the testimony and the documents that are submitted. When we do a Secretary of State hearing, we are required to submit certain documents, and then my client is going to testify. If, in fact, my client testifies to something different than what is submitted in the documents, then the Secretary of State’s point of view is that you testified to A, B, and C but in regards to that same question when posed by your evaluator, you said D, E, and F . We have a complete discrepancy here between what you said to us and what you said to the treatment provider. In any event, that raises a huge question mark, and that is probably the number one reason for denial.
The second thing comes down to reasonableness. You can go on in there and you can testify as to what happened on the night of the DUI, and you can be exactly accurate, meaning what you are saying to them is the exact same thing as in the documents. We don’t have an inconsistency, but what you are saying is unreasonable. For example, you blow into the machine and you blow 3 times the legal limit, but you are testifying that on the night this happened, prior to you blowing 3 times the legal limit, I drank half a beer or I drank one Bud-Lite. From the Secretary of State’s point of view, you are telling us that you drank half a beer and you told the same thing to your treatment providers. What you are telling us is consistent with the documents you provided, but it’s so incredibly unreasonable. It doesn’t make any sense, because nobody can drink half a beer and blow 3 times the legal limit. What you are saying is not reasonable. We don’t care that you said it to your treatment provider, it’s unreasonable and therefore based on that, a huge question mark pops up and you can get denied.
The third thing is that the documents themselves are lacking. Your treatment provider who puts together these documents is just not thorough enough. I, as an attorney, handling a case, cannot put together or manufacture the documents. That’s not my expertise, that’s not what I am being hired for. My area of expertise is getting all this stuff together, putting it together and preparing my client to provide the best presentation at the hearing as possible. I try to engage with the treatment providers, the people who are putting it together.
I try to discuss certain things and see whether or not they feel after my conversations that it is appropriate to put certain phrases, certain wording in the documents, but I cannot produce those documents for them. There are certain treatment facilities in this area of Northern Illinois that are highly competent at putting together Secretary of State documentation, and then there are other places that are not. A lot of times, even though I’ve been engaged with my client’s case for months, I’ve reached out to the treatment providers for months to try and get me these documents as soon as possible. This is a precaution, just in case there are inherent issues with the documents, we can hopefully prepare them in a proper fashion. Hopefully, they won’t give my clients any of this paperwork literally until a day or 2 or 3 prior to the hearing, which leaves absolutely no time to try and modify or get the treatment provider to modify, in a legitimate fashion, some of their documents. Then we are forced to go down and do a hearing with less than perfect documentation.
That is another problem that we might run into down the road, but without a doubt the number one and number two reasons are because of the inconsistency between the testimony and the documentation, and the reasonableness as to what they drank on the night of the DUI, or what their drinking pattern was, or what they learned at their treatment. This really comes into play when somebody goes down not being represented by an attorney. You need an attorney who is highly specialized in Secretary of State matters. If you are just a layperson and you are going down to these hearings, the vast majority of times, you are blown out of the water because you don’t have any concept of how to properly prepare yourself, or what the documents should look like.
You are just taking the documents from your treatment provider, and you are going down there completely unprepared because you have no idea the questions that they are going to pose to you down in Chicago. Many times I have people coming into my office who were not represented by an attorney. They represented themselves, they come back to my office trying to do a second hearing but this time they want me to represent them, and we try to clean up some of the problems that occurred on the first hearing; problems that never would have happened if they were properly prepared.
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