Much Ado About Nothing?

Only about 0.0015% of offenders in Illinois are eligible for a restricted driving permit under the state’s new laws regarding DUI and driving privileges. That number includes fewer than 1,500 offenders in all of suburban Chicago.

Persons with four prior DUI convictions may obtain RDPs if they agree to have ignition interlock devices installed in their vehicles and they have been out of prison at least five years. State Representative Elaine Nekritz (D-Northbrook), who originally sponsored the measure, believes that only a fraction of the eligible convicts will actually qualify. The new law also received support from noted advocacy groups, including the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists and Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

“This is for the individual that has proven to be sober,” noted AAIM’s Executive Director Rita Kreslin.

License Revocation Following a DUI Conviction

The loss of a driver’s license is one of the most debilitating consequences of a DUI conviction, particularly for individuals who live in suburban, rural, or semi-rural areas. Routine errands like trips to the store or doctor’s office require careful advanced planning, and daily commutes to work or school are almost impossible.

In Illinois, the length of post-conviction suspension generally depends on the number of prior DUIs:

  • First conviction – one year revocation,
  • Second – five year revocation,
  • Third – ten year revocation, and
  • Fourth or Subsequent – lifetime revocation.

After the revocation period expires, the driver must pay a fee and formally reinstate the license, or else it remains invalid.

Driving After a DUI Conviction

In this context, “revocation” is not synonymous with “not permitted to drive.” Many revoked drivers may be eligible for Restricted Driving Permits (RDPs) if they have a breath-alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) installed in their vehicles. Colloquially referred to as a “blow and go,” a BAIID measures the driver’s blood alcohol content and, if it is above a certain level, disables the ignition. Additionally, the driver must normally provide specimens at various times while the vehicle is in motion. A rolling failure, or too many rolling refusals, will disable the ignition, and the vehicle will not restart after it is stopped.

A hearing officer from the Secretary of State will issue an RDP or reinstate a license after the revocation period based on risk category. The classifications and requirements are:

  • Level I: Persons with one DUI conviction and a BAC of under .15 must complete a 10-hour Driver Risk Education (DRE) course.
  • Level II Moderate Risk: Persons with one prior DUI case that included a Breathalyzer refusal or BAC between .15 and .19 must complete the DRE and 12 hours of alcohol counseling.
  • Level II Significant Risk: One or more DUI convictions with a BAC over .20 means the DRE, 20 hours of alcohol treatment, and completed aftercare.
  • Level III Non-Dependent: Persons with three or more arrests in the last ten years and fewer than three symptoms of dependency must complete 75 hours of alcohol treatment and prove that they have used alcohol in moderation for the last 12 months.
  • Level III Alcohol Dependent: Persons in this category must complete 75 hours of alcohol treatment, prove they have abstained for the last 12 months, and belong to an Alcoholics Anonymous or other group.

These are minimum requirements, and the hearing officer usually requires more than the minimum before granting an RDP, especially for Levels II and III.

Reach Out to Assertive Attorneys

To get behind the wheel again after a DUI, contact the aggressive Schaumburg criminal defense attorneys at Glasgow & Olsson. Convenient payment plans are available.

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