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Family Guidance Blog

SATOP Program Matches Intervention Level With Individual Need

Who Qualifies for SATOP and What Does it Entail?

The intent behind Missouri’s Substance Abuse Traffic Offenders’ Program (SATOP) is to help educate individuals who drinkSATOP 2 and drive about the dangers and risks associated with this decision. SATOP is a structured intervention required for all Missouri drivers who lose their license as a result of DWI.

Missouri law requires these offenders to take part in a three-part assessment. The assessment costs $126 and must be paid for by the individual. During the assessment the person’s driving record will be examined, they will take an online mental health screening and will meet one-on-one with a behavioral health specialist. After being assessed, the person is then asked to fulfill a minimum of 10 hours of intervention education. In order to have their license reinstated, the offender must complete the intervention program to which they are assigned.

There are multiple education options and a behavioral health specialist will have a say in which program is most appropriate for each individual. The goal of the intervention is to help offenders understand the choices they have made and to take responsibility for those choices.

There is a program designed specifically for under 21 offenders whose arrest included a citation for substance possession or misuse. Low-risk adult offenders may be assigned to a 10-hour OEP (Offender Education Program). Higher risk offenders may be asked to participate in a Weekend Intervention Program (WIP) which lasts 48 hours or a Clinical Intervention Program (CIP) which takes 50 hours to complete. Repeat offenders and those whose assessments indicate the need may be placed in the SROP (Serious Repeat Offenders’ Program) or in Level IV Traditional Treatment for substance abuse.

It’s important to keep in view that SATOP is about deterring poor decisions in the future. There are multiple ways to intervene and help steer someone into a safer direction – SATOP is designed to match the right level of intervention with each person’s need. At Family Guidance Center we offer the SATOP program. Contact us to find out more about our SATOP program.

Family Guidance Center Offers SATOP Program

SATOP May Look Slightly Different for Each Individual Who Participates

SATOP 2SATOP is the acronym for Substance Abuse Traffic Offenders Program. It is required for all Missouri drivers who receive a DWI conviction and have their license suspended. The program offers clinical treatment to help individuals who have driven while intoxicated more fully understand what they did and why. The end goal is that individuals would be prepared to avoid making the same choice again in the future.

The St Joseph Family Guidance Center offers several ways to fulfill a SATOP requirement. The initial assessment steps look the same for everyone who enters the program, but once clinicians have identified key markers, referrals are made according to individual assessments. That’s why SATOP can differ slightly depending upon the needs of each person.

For instance, one individual may qualify for the Weekend Intervention Program (WIP). A person would need to complete the entire weekend’s program and have the okay of the clinician before having fully met their SATOP requirement. Other SATOP interventions include group or individual treatment, Offenders Education Program (OEP), or SROP (Serious Repeat Offenders Program). Which program deemed most appropriate would be decided according to the clinician’s assessment. In every case the person must complete the assigned SATOP program and be signed off by the mental health leader.

This means that not everyone can fulfill their SATOP requirement in the same way or in the same amount of time. In a way, SATOP is a gift. It helps a person slow down and examine their actions and the motivations behind those actions and the goal is then that they will not repeat the offense. If help is needed to address how decisions are made, Family Guidance offers the individual counseling that can work on those issues also. Give us a call today and we can tell you more about our SATOP program.

SATOP is Important in Changing Drinking and Driving Decisions

SATOP 1Here in Missouri thousands of residents are killed or seriously injured in an alcohol-related traffic accident every year. The pain and cost to those responsible is high. Drivers who receive a DWI may be required to pay upwards of $1,000. The cost to communities is also high since drunk driving rarely affects only the person who has been drinking. SATOP is a program designed to change future decisions about drinking and driving.

Taking Responsibility
In some cases, more than a stiff fine is imposed on a person charged with a DWI. The Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program (SATOP) was designed to give convicted drivers an intense course that will teach them to take responsibility for their own choices and make better choices in the future.

The program began in 1993 and is administered by the Missouri Department of Mental Health Division of Behavioral Health who, in turn, works closely with the Missouri Department of Revenue. Here’s how SATOP works:

Fines, Education, Mental Health Assessment
The person with the DWI pays for their participation in the program. This usually means $126 for an individual assessment screening. During the assessment the person’s driving record will be reviewed, they will be required to complete a standardized online questionnaire and will undergo a personal interview with a mental health professional who specializes in substance abuse.
Another $249 supplemental charge is also levied. Then, the person must complete a 10 hour educational course which focuses on all of the personal choices made preceding drunk driving and arrest. This helps the person to take ownership for the consequences they are experiencing.

Over 30,000 Missouri drivers participate in SATOP each year. In each case it is mandatory for the person to successfully complete SATOP before being reissued another driver’s license.

Family Guidance
is an authorized participant in the SATOP initiative. Call us today and find out how you can become a part of our SATOP program.

SATOP Works to Increase Driver Awareness, Lower Substance Use by Drivers

Reports reveal that nearly one-third of traffic accidents are directly related to alcohol use. If drug use were factored in, the percentage would bump up even higher. Here in Missouri, 280 lives were lost on the highway because of drivers who had been consuming alcohol in 2012.

An Intervention Program
One effort to combat this deadly reality has been the institution of court-ordered driver education which focuses particularly on the dangers associated with impaired driving, through a program known
SATOP 2 as SATOP – Substance Abuse Traffic Offenders Program.

Changing a Person’s Perspective
The goal of SATOP is to awaken drivers to the tremendous dangers posed by substance use in terms of driver responsiveness and decision-making. The program also aims to increase interest in community responsibility when it comes to using substances and driving. Once a person gets behind the wheel of a vehicle, substance use is no longer a private decision with only personal consequences. Hopefully, when drivers are confronted with their previous choices set in the context of a wider community, personal changes will result.

Two Tracks of Intervention
SATOP is offered at various levels of intervention. First time offenders who pose a low risk may be assigned to a 10 week education course. High-risk first offenders or repeat offenders may be assigned an intensive weekend intervention program. When determining the level of the program to be assigned, authorities may look at the person’s blood alcohol content (BAC), their past driving record, recommendation from a substance abuse professional and/or an online assessment.

At Family Guidance Center we understand how deceptive substance use can be. Often individuals who abuse substances have trouble seeing how their choices affect others. You don’t have to wait until you are pulled over on the road for a traffic violation. You can get help today, before anyone gets hurt. Contact us and find out how we can help. We participate in SATOP at our St Joseph, Cameron and Maryville offices.