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New Law Regarding Four-Time DUI Offenders Effective January 1

Illinois altered its laws affecting drivers with multiple DUI convictions with House Bill 1446, which was signed into law in August and becomes effective on the first day of the new year. Under prior Illinois law, a driver with four or more DUI convictions was not permitted to seek a hearing for relief (either in the form of a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP) or a full reinstatement of driving privileges). Illinois precedent dictated that a hearing was barred regardless of whether the arrest occurred in Illinois or elsewhere, even if the out-of-state conviction was not recorded on the driver’s Illinois record.

This situation created problems for both Illinois residents and nonresidents. Given reciprocal laws and comity within the United States, almost all states honored the DUI revocation. The perverse result was to preclude nonresidents from obtaining driving privileges in any state.

The law, which was signed by Governor Rauner in August, establishes a process for the state’s nearly 5,100 four-time DUI offenders to obtain a restricted driver’s license. Mothers Against Drunk Driving supports the law.

The law affords relief to both residents and nonresidents who have four or more convictions of DUI, reckless homicide, or leaving the scene of an accident. Different terms apply to residents and nonresidents.

In order to be afforded relief under the new law, Illinois drivers must satisfy the following conditions:  (1) the driver must have fewer than two convictions for driving under the influence of drugs, intoxicating compounds, or a combination thereof (defined in 625 ILCS 5/11-501); (2) it must have been at least five years since the driver’s most recent DUI conviction, or five years from the date of the driver’s release from prison, whichever is later; (3) at the time of the hearing, the applicant must demonstrate at least three years of uninterrupted sobriety; (4) relief would be limited to a restricted driving permit to drive to and from employment, medical appointments, AA meetings, or educational institutions for the driver and the driver’s children; and (5) the driver would forever be required to drive only a vehicle with a BAIID (breath machine) installed at all times.

For drivers who live outside Illinois and are seeking to release Illinois’ hold on their ability to obtain a driver’s license in another state, or to retain the out-of-state license they currently hold, they must satisfy the following conditions:  (1) it must have been at least 10 years from the most recent driver’s license revocation ; (2) applicants must demonstrate a minimum of three years of uninterrupted abstinence; and (3) drivers who successfully obtained release of the hold but who subsequently established residency in Illinois would be subject to a new hearing and a lifetime of driving on a restricted permit with a breath machine (as outlined above).

According to the Secretary of State’s office, over half of the state’s four-time DUI offenders reside in the Chicago area.

If you have been charged with a DUI crime in Illinois, or need a driver’s license, it is crucial to speak to an experienced Illinois DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Harvatin Law Offices, PC provides knowledgeable representation to people in Springfield and throughout Illinois. We have considerable experience defending individuals charged with DUI offenses and representing revoked drivers before the Illinois Secretary of State. To learn more and to set up a free initial consultation, contact us online or call us at 217.525.0520.

More Blog Posts:

Hospital Executive Receives 100-day Sentence for Vehicular Homicide, Illinois DUI Lawyer Blawg, December 1, 2015.

Georgia Courts Suppress Blood Tests Where Driver Was Too Drunk To Consent, Illinois DUI Lawyer Blawg, November 13, 2015.

Illinois Affirms Defendant’s DUI Conviction Despite Blood-Alcohol Level Below Legal Limit, Illinois DUI Lawyer Blawg, November 2, 2015.

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