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
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.