Because of the deadly consequences associated with driving under the influence, Illinois has strict DUI laws and severe penalties for DUI convictions. Suspension and revocation of driving privileges are just one of the consequences of DUI that can seriously impact your daily life. While driving is considered a privilege, for many, driving is a necessity. Without driving privileges, it can be impossible to get to work and earn a living. New Illinois law may help many drivers get driving relief after a DUI conviction.
Elimination of Waiting Periods
Previous Illinois DUI law required first time offenders to wait 30 days before being able to apply for a monitoring device driver’s permit (MDDP), a permit that would allow them to drive a car with a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) installed. New Illinois law beginning January 1, 2016 removes the 30 day waiting period, allowing drivers to obtain driving relief sooner. Previous law also required a one year waiting period for a driver convicted of DUI to obtain a restricted driver’s permit (RDP) and a three year waiting period for a driver who has a summary suspension for a second offense refusal. Now drivers do not have to wait for those periods to get a MDDP, and may obtain privileges to drive with a BAIID installed on their vehicle.
Eliminated 30 day waiting period for first time offenders to get an MDDP.
Eliminated one year waiting period to obtain RDP after a DUI conviction.
Eliminated three year waiting period to obtain RDP for a second offense refusal.
It is important to note that while the hard time waiting periods were eliminated in some cases, there are still situations in which the waiting periods still occur. Also, while the waiting period is eliminated in certain situations, driving relief is dependant on having a BAIID installed.
Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID)
BAIID stands for breath alcohol ignition interlock device, which is a device installed on a vehicle which requires the person to blow into the device before the car will start. The device determines if the person has any alcohol in his/her system and will only start the car if the driver is not impaired by alcohol.
Driving Relief After Four or More DUI Convictions
Previous law prohibited drivers with four or more DUI convictions from driving again, ever. The new law allows drivers with four or more DUI convictions to apply for a restricted driving permit (RDP) if they meet the following criteria:
Must wait for five years.
Must show evidence of three years of abstinence from drugs and alcohol.
Must install BAIID on vehicle.
This is good news for repeat DUI offenders that have lost driving privileges. Now, if they meet the requirements, they can get a RDP and be able to drive. Note that the RDP does not allow unrestricted driving; instead, the RDP allows driving under certain circumstances. This means the RDP will most likely allow the person to drive to and from work, but not for other purposes.
Criticism of New Law
Critics lament that the new law allows repeat offenders back on the road. However, it is important to acknowledge that the new law only allows these offenders back on the road if they meet the strict guidelines and are using a vehicle with a BAIID installed. A BAIID does not allow a driver to start a vehicle if impaired by alcohol. Proponents of the law point out that this change actually makes our roads safer. In the past, offenders without driving privileges simply drove anyway. Without a BAIID installed on their vehicle, there was nothing preventing them from driving drunk without a valid license. Now, the with the new law, these drivers can only operate vehicles when they have not consumed alcohol, the BAIID will prevent that from happening.
Want Driving Relief?
If you have been convicted of DUI and would qualify for driving relief under the new law, contact an attorney to get the process started. Dennis F. Dwyer is a Chicago DUI attorney that can help you ensure that your rights are protected and that you get the relief you deserve. Contact his office and find out if the new changes can make a difference for you.