Offender Management Unit (OMU)
Missouri law now requires all persons arrested for DWI to complete an assessment screening of their alcohol and substance use related to their driving behavior. The Offender Management Unit (OMU) is the process by which all offenders referred to SATOP are evaluated and recommended to the most appropriate level of service, either education, intervention, or treatment, based on criteria established by the Department and the professional judgment of a SATOP certified Qualified Substance Abuse Professional (QSAP).
This process includes the use of a valid, standardized and computerized screening instrument approved by the Department, a review of the offender's driving record, a review of the offender's Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) at the time of the arrest and an individualized interview with a QSAP.
The QSAP who conducts the screening monitors the offender's compliance with the recommendations and makes the final report to the court and Department of Revenue. A screening fee paid for by the offender covers the cost of this service. Offenders must also pay a supplemental fee to the state that is deposited into the Mental Health Earnings Fund. The Mental Health Earnings Fund is used to offset the cost of programs for offenders who may be unable to fully pay for the cost of services.
The individualized interview is the core of the screening process and is required. The interpretation of all data; screening instrument summary, DOR report, interview by the Qualified Professional, and all other available information, is critical in the development of the offender referral to either education or rehabilitation. Other items of consideration during the screening interview should include: the BAC at time of the arrest; prior treatment history; social, legal, or family problems; and physical appearance.
Screening Instrument: The Driver Risk Inventory II (DRI-II) has been selected to be the screening instrument for SATOP. The Missouri DRI-II is a self-administered assessment instrument designed specifically for DUI/DWI offenders. For more information about the Missouri DRI-II, contact Behavior Data Systems at (800) 231-2401. The DRI-II Short Form may be used with offenders who have problems with reading. A Spanish version of the DRI-II is also available.
Periodically the Missouri DRI-II will be reformulated with new questions. If at any time the system is seriously compromised, the test may be reformulated. The Division will investigate any complaints of this nature or any other serious complaints provided the complaints are in writing and signed.
Offender needs: Standards clearly indicate that screening recommendations shall be impartial and solely based on the needs of the offender and the welfare of society. These recommendations cannot be used as a means of "case finding" for any specific program or as a marketing tool for any SATOP program. Programs violating this provision can face probation and/or revocation of certification. Cooperation in this area by an OMU is essential to assure SATOP integrity. Failure to be objective in all cases may jeopardize the future of the OMU to continue this service. Division staff will closely monitor agency referrals and recommend any necessary disciplinary action.
Offender Choices: Clients receiving a referral must be given a list of programs (within a reasonable distance of their home) which are certified to provide the service level the client has been assigned. Clients have the option of selecting a program from the list. Most OEP clients will receive their OEP education at the same program that conducted the screening. Clients are also required to receive a copy of the Notice of Offender Assignment Form (A-3).
Screening Shelf-Life: Ideally, the offender should enroll in the required program right away. However, this often does not occur. Unless a court has given an offender a completion date, the offender chooses when to complete SATOP. The only consequence is that the offender will not have his/her driver's license reinstated by revenue until SATOP is completed. There is a "DRI shelf-life" of six months. Offenders are informed at the time of screening that the referral is valid for a period of six months from the date of screening. After this time, the screening assessment will be null and void.
Once the screening assessment becomes null and void, the offender must obtain and pay for another updated screening; however, with proper documentation (the A-3 form from the first screening), the offender will not have to pay the supplemental fee a second time for the same offense.
Second Opinions: Any offender may request a second opinion from another OMU if he/she has a serious disagreement with the initial screening. At the present time the offender will need to pay for the screening at the regular rate. The program providing the second opinion should conduct the screening as usual. In any event, a thorough review of the offender's situation is warranted. The second OMU then becomes the official OMU of record and makes the referral, monitors compliance with the recommendation, and issues the Completion Form.
Judicial Review: Offenders who have a serious disagreement with their screening recommendation(s) may petition the Court to request a Judicial Review. This is a civil legal process which the offender must initiate. The Qualified Professional making the recommendation which is being challenged may be summoned to court to justify the recommendation. Since recommendations should always be justified on both the DRI summary and the Notice of Offender Assignment, these comments should be clear and complete.