Currently under Illinois law, a fourth DUI (driving under the influence) conviction results in lifetime revocation of driving privileges. Illinois lawmakers hope to change this law and give four time DUI offenders another chance. Secretary of State records indicate that 380 drivers in Illinois had their license revoked in 2013. The vast majority resulted from a fourth DUI conviction. Earlier this month a House committee voted 15-0 to approve legislation that would allow for these offenders to obtain a restricted driver’s permit. This would give them the ability to drive at certain times and places.
The legislation has the support of a prominent anti-drunk driving organization, Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists. Director Rita Kreslin feels that this measure would increase the safety of the roadways because currently those offenders simply drive illegally without insurance. Her son was killed at the age of 19 in a crash involving a drunk driver. She believes that rehabilitated offenders should be given another chance to drive.
Rehabilitated offenders would need to prove that they deserve the privilege to drive again. Five years after loss of license or release from prison, a rigorous application process would require offenders to prove three years of sobriety, go through treatment programs, and install an in-car Breathalyzer for life. State Representative Elaine Nekritz explains that her proposal provides a way for these offenders, who are already driving illegally, to legally drive so that they can support their families.
The next step is for the legislation to pass through the full House.