Here at New Visions Counseling, we are often asked many different questions about DUI counseling and education, DUI evaluations, and requirements for license reinstatement. We strive to make sure our clients are well informed about the DUI process and potential reinstatement process, so they can plan ahead and take all the necessary steps to complete their requirements and get their license back. We aim to share our wealth of knowledge with each client in order to make the process a little less stressful and as streamlined as possible.
We’ve listed some of the most asked questions below to help you find answers quickly and easily. We will update the FAQ’s list as new questions arise.
If you still can’t find an answer to your question, please give use a call, and we’d be more than happy to assist you in any way we can.
What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept cash, check, money order, or credit/debit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover).
Does New Visions Counseling accept insurance?
Unfortunately, we do not bill any private or state insurance. Generally, insurance will not cover court required evaluations or classes, so this is something we do not do.
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 and how busy we are. We run DUI classes most days, every week, so you can get started at any time.
What do I need to bring to my appointment?
The paperwork needed for appointments varies and depends on the type of evaluation or service. Please reach out to us for more specifics.
Can I have my DUI Evaluation done over the phone or online?
Yes, all evaluations can be done over the phone.
If I have been arrested for a 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 On the 46th day, the statutory summary suspension will go into affect, and your license is no longer valid. Information about when the suspension goes into affect can be found on the “Notice to Motorist” you got at the time of arrest, and the Secretary of State will mail you a letter.
How long is the Statutory Summary Suspension?
For 1st time DUI arrests, the suspension is 6 months if a breathalyzer was done and 1 year is testing was refused. A person is considered a 1st time offender, for the suspension, if a prior DUI was more than 5 years before. For 2nd arrests within 5 years, the suspension is 1 year if a breathalyzer was done and 3 years if testing was refused.
Can I drive during the suspension?
Yes, the state offers a permit which allows driving during the suspension when 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 hearing process with the Secretary of State.
When do I need to complete the DUI evaluation?
According to state law, the DUI evaluation must be completed prior to being sentenced for the DUI. You can wait until requested by court to complete the evaluation, or you can gat the evaluation as soon as possible.
If I have a prior DUI conviction, do I need to get an new evaluation?
Yes, a new DUI evaluation is required after every 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. More information about this can be found on our DUI evaluation page.
What if I don’t agree with my evaluation?
This is not uncommon, but unfortunately, once a DUI evaluation is submitted to court, you must comply with the recommendations.
What are the court requirements for a DUI?
The court will require you to complete a DUI evaluation and comply with the recommendations. You must participate in a Victim Impact Panel, and often, there are fines and community service. A DUI can also result in jail time and revocation of license. Past DUI arrests and BAC at the time of arrest affect the requirements.
Do I have to complete my court requirements to get my license back?
If you were not convicted of the DUI and license is only suspended, then no. Your license will become valid after the time frame is up and the reinstatement fee is paid. If you were convicted of the DUI and have a revoked license, then yes, all recommended treatment must be completed in order to get your license reinstated.
Will the DUI be on my record?
Driving record, yes. A DUI is permanent on a person’s driving record. Criminal record, only if you were convicted of the DUI. If you received court supervision for the offense, it will not be on your criminal record.
What if I am convicted of the DUI instead of getting court supervision?
You will required to complete all the same court requirements, but you will also have your license revoked. Please read on to learn more about license revocation or read our additional information license reinstatement.
DUI Counseling and Education:
How quickly can I complete my DUI classes?
This really depends on the classification you were assigned and how frequently you attend. For some classes, you are only allowed to participate 1x per week and for others, you can participate 3x per week. Please reach out to us, so we can discuss your particular situation.
Can I do all of my DUI classes online?
Yes, all classes are offered online and can be completed remotely.
How do I get started with the DUI counseling or Education?
There is initial paperwork that needs to be completed, and we 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 us via phone or email to start the intake process.
I have 1 year of supervision or probation. Does that mean I have 1 year to complete the DUI classes?
Yes and No. Once you start the DUI classes, you are expected to participate weekly, so you can not spread them out over 1 year after starting. You are, however, welcome to start the classes whenever you choose during your supervision or probation. We do not recommend waiting until the very end though as unexpected things may come up.
Can I complete the DUI counseling and Risk Education at the same time?
Yes, we do allow the programs to be completed simultaneously.
How much does a DUI Evaluation cost?
The cost of a DUI Evaluation is $200. We do offer a sliding fee scale and some payments options. All you need to do is ask.
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. We can expedite this process if needed. Please just let us know your time frame when calling, so we can let you know in advance if it can be accommodated.
What factors affect the results of a DUI evaluation?
The state of Illinois use 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 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.
SOS Evaluations for License Reinstatement:
What is the difference between a DUI Evaluation and SOS evaluation?
A DUI evaluation is the initial evaluation a person most get when going to court for a DUI arrest. This evaluation will determine how many hours of education and or counseling most be completed. We use the term SOS evaluation for the evaluation that most be obtained in order to seek license reinstatement after a person’s license is revoked.
What is the cost of an SOS Evaluation?
The cost of an evaluation for license reinstatement is $330. There may also be other fees for any additional paperwork that is needed. This fee includes all of the evaluation paperwork (evaluation, history, and 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 of 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 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 time frame, a revocation is technically indefinite. The state does not ever have to reinstatement your license. It is up to you to petition for your reinstatement, attend an administrative hearing, and prove 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 almost always put you on a restricted 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 number of convictions not number of DUI arrests; there is a difference.
How do I prove 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 education completed. If you were assigned High Risk classification, you need to provide documentation of abstinence and your support system. The SOS provides a list of all the hearing requirements.
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 we 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. This something we help with to increase your chances of success.
Do I need an attorney for the hearing process?
An attorney is not required, but this is more of a personal choice. We offer our clients extra preparation and guidance on the hearing process, so you can avoid the extra expense of an attorney, however, there are things an attorney can provide that we cannot. Should you be interested in working with an attorney, we 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 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 before presenting for the hearing.
I was denied at my hearing. What do I do?
Come see us! The denial letter you received needs to be addressed by a treatment provider/evaluator, and chances are, you will need new evaluation paperwork. We will help you sort through the reasons for the denial and provide guidance on how to avoid the same issues at your next hearing.