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Reinstating Illinois driver’s license due to DUI does not always require Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

You are not always required to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings (AA) in order to reinstate your driver’s license or obtain a work permit (RDP) after losing your license due to a DUI.

Only if an alcohol or drug counselor or treatment provider has identified you as alcohol or drug dependent (Level III) must you provide evidence to the Secretary of State that you are involved in a support program to help you maintain abstinence from alcohol and drugs. In those circumstances, you must demonstrate to the Secretary of State a lifetime commitment to, and involvement in, your support program.

The Secretary of State readily recognizes the effectiveness of AA but understands that it is not for everybody. He will accept non-traditional support programs, examples of which could include church, friends and family, Rational Emotive Therapy (RET), Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT), self-formed step groups and any other program designed to help an alcoholic control, by relying upon others, the urge to drink. However, if the evaluator or treatment agency (alcohol counselor) has recommended that you attend AA as a support program, you must follow that recommendation or ask the provider of the recommendation to withdraw the AA recommendation and endorse your non-traditional support program.

You must not confuse the lifelong commitment to a support program with those situations in which a judge, probation officer or alcohol/drug counselor has directed someone to attend AA or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) during a limited period of time. Since the lifetime support program commitment applies only to alcoholics, if you have not been classified as an alcoholic, attending AA meetings voluntarily may cause the Secretary of State improperly to suspect you of being an alcoholic. Do not attend AA unless you have been ordered to do so or are an alcoholic.

Whatever the support program, you must be prepared to explain to the Secretary of State at a hearing how the program works for you. In addition, the Secretary of State will require you to provide letters to document your involvement in the support program that you use. These letters must come from three different sources and must include very specific information of interest to the Secretary of State.

If you are involved in AA, you should be prepared to demonstrate knowledge of the twelve steps and twelve traditions and otherwise provide evidence you are working a good program of recovery. If you are using a non-traditional support program, you must be able to explain in specific terms how the system you have in place assists you in maintaining abstinence from alcohol

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