You live in Missouri and your attorney, a judge, or the Department of Revenue is requiring you to complete a SATOP class. What is that? Why do you have to take it? And most importantly, can you get out of it?
What is SATOP?
SATOP stands for Substance Abuse Traffic Offender Program. This is a mandatory class for:
1) anyone facing a driver license supspension because they refused to have their blood, urine, or breath (ie breathalyzer) tested for alcohol
2) anyone facing an administrative license suspension for blowing over .08 on a breathalyzer
3) anyone needing to complete a SATOP class as a term of their probation.
What Should I Expect From SATOP?
In Missouri, the first step in completeing the class is to call a SATOP provider to schedule an assessment. An assessment is used to place you in the appropriate SATOP class. An assessment looks at your history of alcohol/substance abuse, family history of alcohol use and your general risk to the community. You are responsible for the $375 cost of the assessment.
Once the assessment is complete, that information will be combined with your criminal history to determine which SATOP class you will be placed in. SATOP classes range from 10-75 hours and from $130-1500 in price.
Am I Stuck With This Class?
When your SATOP class is assigned, you might be frustrated or annoyed with your placement. Not only will this class cost you money but your time in SATOP classes can significantly impact your job and earned wages. This is the time to consult your attorney. While ditching your SATOP class completely is unlikely, it is very possible to change your class. I am frequently able to significantly reduce the amount of time spent in class as well as the overall cost for my clients.