The Missouri SATOP Offender Education Program (OEP) is a 10-hour education course designed specifically to assist lower risk, first-time DWI / DUI offenders in understanding the choices they made that led to their intoxication and arrest for DWI / DUI.
The course is premised on “the idea that education is key to helping first-time offenders take responsibility for their actions.”
The page provides detailed information about SATOP OEP.
Introduction to SATOP OEP
The Offender Education Program (OEP) is a 10-hour educational course designed for “low risk” first offenders. The goal of the OEP is to provide effective education strategies that impact first-time offenders and result in the offenders modifying their drinking and driving behavior. Since OEP is now a first offender program, new strategies based on adult learning techniques have been developed to impact adult first offenders. The techniques emphasize the “process” of learning as well as the “content” material, which has been modified to meet the needs of the first offender.
Assumptions on which SATOP OEP is Based
The Offender Education Program (OEP) is based on the following assumptions:
- People want to live healthy, happy lives;
- Impaired and drunk driving are preventable behaviors;
- Given adequate information and motivation, the majority of first time offenders will choose to avoid further use of
- alcoholic beverages while driving;
- Behaviors can change when the adult makes conscious choices to change these behaviors;
- Individuals want to make responsible choices for their behaviors, thereby making their communities safer; and
- Having more factual information about drinking and driving will assist people in making better choices.
The staff who facilitate the OEP are to: 1) supply information in an interesting manner so that it will be retained by those attending the program, 2) create an environment that helps the individual leave each session motivated to change, and 3) make maximum use of the entire 10-hour educational experience for greatest impact on these first time offenders.
The OEP is not intended as punishment for having been arrested while driving while drinking. It is intended as an opportunity for those individuals to learn about the consequences of driving and drinking while exploring their own behaviors and ideas for change to avoid future DWI’s. OEP is strictly a facilitated educational experience.
Stated Objectives of SATOP OEP
The stated objectives of the OEP are as follows:
- To inform the participants about the physical and mental impairments caused by drinking and drug use and the hazards and consequences of impaired driving;
- To promote among the participants responsible decision making regarding driving through an examination of their drinking behaviors and attitudes and the development of strategies to change behavior and attitudes related to alcohol/drug use and driving; and
- To involve the participants in an active learning process to improve retention and motivate change.
Stated Goals of the SATOP OEP Curriculum
The following are the stated goals of the OEP curriculum:
- Emphasize adult learning concepts including more student involvement and interaction, use of structured learning activities, and an individualized response to learning needs;
- Follow a learner-centered approach rather than an information-centered approach;
- Focus on the process of presenting information, as well as the content, for first offenders;
- Encourage and foster attitudinal changes about impaired and drunk driving;
- Promote the “zero tolerance” concept for all DWI offenders;
- Encourage healthy behaviors and alternatives to drinking and driving;
- Emphasize the effect of specific drugs on driving skills; and
- Include updated information on drinking and driving.
SATOP OEP Course Organization
The OEP course material is organized into four (4) modules, each being approximately 2 1/2 hours in length. The four (4) modules may be presented as four separate sessions or may be combined into two longer sessions. Each period should have a brief break not exceeding 15 minutes. Specific factual information is included within each session. A variety of techniques and methods are used to convey this information. It is important that the entire 10 hours (not including breaks) be used effectively and efficiently.
Session #1 goals include:
- Understanding of the concept of impairment;
- Knowing how many Americans are drinking and driving and the extent of the problem;
- Exploring the relationships between drugs and driving; and
- Identifying the legal consequences of drinking and driving.
Session #2 goals focus on:
- How social drinking differs from alcoholic drinking;
- The physical effects of alcohol and drugs;
- The effects of alcohol and other drugs on driving; and
- The impact on the victims of those who drink and drive.
Session #3 goals include:
- Understanding the personal costs of a DWI;
- Understanding the medical and health impact of alcohol and drug use; and
- Understanding the social/emotional effect of alcohol abuse on the individual user and his or her family.
Session #4 goals expand on:
- Understanding behaviors in relation to alcohol and other drug use;
- Assessing the importance of taking responsibility of one’s own actions; and
- Developing and applying strategies for preventing future alcohol and other drug use problems.