Think Before You Drink and Drive

You thought it was funny to go 50 miles per hour down Memorial Drive because the Arch does that funny thing when you go fast, or when you’re drunk, or both. You were lucky enough not to hit that gaggle of tourists, but not so lucky as to avoid the attention of the police. In addition to the hefty fines for speeding, and staring down charges of driving while intoxicated, you get to look forward to court ordered SATOP in St Louis.

For the uninitiated, SATOP stands for Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program, completion of which is required to have your license reinstated at the end of your probationary period. You must enroll in the system via a state Offender Management Unit which will then conduct a screening comprised of a review of your driving history, your breath alcohol concentration at your arrest, and an interview with a substance abuse professional. This will lead to a referral to one of several types of SATOP service levels. The fees for the screening and placement alone add up to $375. Where you go next, depending on the results of your assessments, can cost you from around $100 to more than $1,000.

Of course, the State isn’t totally heartless. Its main concern is preventing avoidable injuries and deaths. To this end, participants in SATOP are administered the Standard Means Test to determine if they qualify for financial aid. There are also non-profit agencies in the St. Louis area that conduct the programs at a reduced cost, so you may be referred to one of them as well.

If this is your first offense, you will be enrolled in the Offender Education Program, which is a ten hour program designed to be a scarier version of your mother’s stern talking to regarding contemplating the decisions you’ve made with your life. If it’s your second offense, or you’ve been deemed a high risk consumer in your assessment, you will be directed to the Weekend Intervention Program, which won’t be the Breakfast Club style redemption it sounds like. It’s twenty hours of intensive education and counseling methods conducted over a weekend of structured activities in a restrictive environment. The programs get more intense from there. Do yourself a favor: avoid needing SATOP in St Louis by always driving sober.

August 31, 2013 · Posted in Uncategorized  


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