New Law to Allow Driving Relief for Four-Time DUI Offenders

Illinois License new lawsPolice officials in Bedford County, Tennessee, last week reported the arrest of a woman on charges of driving under the influence, or DUI. While such an arrest is far from unusual, the woman’s arrest history makes this particular case especially interesting. According to reports, the current charges mark the 17th time she has faced prosecution for DUI, and, correspondingly, 16 charges of driving with a revoked license. Officials indicate that the woman’s first DUI arrest was in 1985, but that six of the offenses have occurred in the last ten years.

Another Chance for Repeat Offenders in Illinois

As illustrated by the Tennessee case, some people will always try to find ways around the existing laws to do what they want. Meanwhile, here in the state of Illinois, a new law is set to take effect that will offer those with multiple DUI convictions a legal avenue for restoring some driving privileges. A person with 16 prior convictions, as one might expect, will not qualify for relief consideration, but under the new law, four-time offenders will have the ability to apply for a restricted driving permit.

The controversial measure was signed by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner back in August and is set to go into effect on January 1, 2016. Under the existing law, a fourth DUI conviction automatically resulted in a lifetime revocation of driving privileges, with no relief available whatsoever. Subsequently, four-time offenders were left with few transportation options to get to work or school, or to care for their children or other family members.

Three Years Clean

The new law would offer four-time offenders—currently numbering more than 5,000 around the state—the opportunity to apply for a restricted driving permit through the office of the Secretary of State. The applicant will be required to provide convincing proof that he or she has not used alcohol or drugs in at least three years and has completed a substance abuse rehabilitation program. Consideration will not be offered to those whose record includes more than one conviction for driving under the influence of drugs.

Those approved for relief will have driving privileges partially restored, and may only drive in accordance with the specific terms of their permit, including restricted times, locations, and driving purposes. In addition, an approved individual will be required to have a breath-alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) installed on his or her vehicle to be used at all times. Any violation of the imposed restrictions or attempts to manipulate the BAIID could result in additional penalties, and a lifetime revocation of driving privileges.

Contact a Lawyer

If you have been previously convicted of driving under the influence, a new charge can impact your life even more seriously. Contact an experienced Will County criminal defense attorney for assistance with your case. We will work with you every step of the way to ensure your rights and your future are fully protected. Call 815-740-4025 to schedule a free consultation at the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba today.