To the average Joe out there, you will not believe how the system works. Whenever a person gets convicted of a DUI in Illinois their license gets revoked. After one year they must apply (pay a fee) to the Secretary of State to have the Secretary of State decide whether they person should get their license back. When going through the process a driver is expected to get an updated alcohol evaluation and follow any additional recommendations of the alcohol counselor. Sounds about right, eh?
Well you have already heard me rant about the money making machines that are called “alcohol counselors” but now let’s focus our attention on the Secretary of State.
Now it may occur to you that if you were the Secretary of State you would merely have the person put a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) in the person’s car in order to track their alcohol use and PRESTO you’re done. Oh, not so fast, in Illinois you have to have a committee decide whether the sun is shining outside (and pay them a salary and a nice pension) so what we do in Illinois is hire an attorney to “act” like a judge at the hearing, and (get this) we hire another attorney to represent the Secretary of State. Then you and the two attorneys have this meeting (formal hearing) where they read tea leaves, tarot cards, and a crystal ball to determine the level of your “alcohol problem” and DECIDE whether you have answered the questions well enough to DESERVE a license.
If I had to guess, I would say that considering facilities, secretaries, attorneys and equipment, hearings probably run at least a couple thousand a pop for you and me the tax payer (for thousands upon thousands of hearings). But the really disturbing thing is that we could have a fifth grader to the work, and all he would have to do is issue BAIID devices all day. But as I said that is not the way we do it in Illinois.