When someone is facing a driver’s license suspension or revocation, their top three questions tend to be:
- Is there any way to contest this and maybe keep my license?
- If I lose my license, can I get some kind of restricted permit that allows me to drive to necessary places like work and medical appointments?
- How do I get my unrestricted license back?
The Illinois Secretary of State (SOS) has documented procedures to address these issues. However, these procedures can be complicated and confusing, particularly when it comes to reinstatement following a revocation. Because each person’s situation is unique, it is always smart to consult an attorney prior to engaging with the SOS.
Let us look at each of these issues, one by one:
1. How can I contest a driver’s license suspension/revocation?
As soon as you learn of an impending suspension of your license, you should consult an attorney as quickly as possible. You have a limited window of time to request an administrative hearing in front of a SOS hearing officer. This hearing is your one opportunity to contest the suspension. Depending on the circumstances, your attorney may be able to help you avoid the suspension altogether. In some cases, you also have the ability to motion the ticket that originally caused your suspension back into court to reverse your suspension.
2. Under what conditions can I still drive during the suspension/revocation period of a DUI?
• First-time DUI offenders who receive court supervision rather than a conviction are eligible for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP). The MDDP allows unlimited driving during the statutory summary suspension period, but only in a vehicle equipped with Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAAID). You must pay an approved BAAID vendor for the installation and rental of the device, and you also have to pay a monthly monitoring fee to the Secretary of State.
• Repeat DUI offenders can apply for, but are not guaranteed, a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP). With a RDP, you will only be allowed to drive a BAIID-equipped vehicle during certain times and in specified areas. You will have to appear before a SOS hearing officer, where you will need to (1) provide proof that you are not a threat to public safety and (2) prove that you need to drive for at least one of the following reasons: work, school, medical appointments, child care, or care for an elderly or disabled family member. An attorney’s advice can make the difference between getting a RDP quickly and not getting it at all.
3. How do I get my driver’s license reinstated?
Reinstatement following a non-DUI-related suspension is a relatively straightforward process of paying a fee to the SOS of $70–$500, depending on the violation that resulted in the suspension. In some instances proof of SR-22 will be required and or a defensive driving course.
In the case of a DUI-related summary suspension or revocation, however, you must make your case at a reinstatement hearing. Reinstatement of your license after a DUI is complicated and not guaranteed. You could be deemed a risk to the public and required to stay on a RDP with a BAIID, or be denied even restricted driving privileges. An attorney well-versed in the process is highly recommended to ensure the best possible outcome.
Protect Your Rights with a Skilled Joliet Driver’s License Defense Attorney
If you are contesting a suspension or trying to get your license reinstated, you need an aggressive advocate on your side to guide you through the required hearings and paperwork. Contact a knowledgeable Will County reinstatement attorney as soon as possible. For a free and confidential consultation, call the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba at 815-740-4025; calls are responded to 24 hours a day. Our Joliet office has years of experience in restoring clients’ driving privileges.