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Changes to Illinois DUI Law

Kane County DUI Defense Lawyers

St. Charles DUI attorneysRecent changes to Illinois DUI law seek to help those who have exemplified positive changes in behavior after receiving a DUI while still ensuring that offenders who are deemed a danger stay off Illinois roads. Understanding these new laws and the importance of seeking legal advice immediately after a DUI arrest is critical to protecting your criminal record.

The Critics and the Law

Of the many changes that will take place when the new Illinois laws go into effect on January 1, 2016, one of the most controversial is a law that will allow offenders with up to four or more drunk driving convictions the possibility of getting their license back. After waiting five years from the date of losing their license, an offender who meets the criteria may be eligible to prove to the Secretary of State that they are both drug and alcohol free (and have been for at least three years). They may then be permitted to drive in limited circumstances and at designated times with a mandatory ignition interlock device installed in their car. The driver would also be responsible for the installation and maintenance costs associated with the interlock device.

Over 5,000 people in Illinois currently hold four or more DUI convictions. Of these individuals, many are unable to find or maintain work due to their inability to commute or travel for their occupation. Even Mothers Against Drunk Driving has made statements in support of reform, believing that people can (and should) be allowed the opportunity to demonstrate they have been rehabilitated. Moreover, the new law provides for a monitoring system that will allow much more oversight in reference to post-conviction driving. Long-term monitoring may allow offenders the opportunity for a fresh start—eventually a driver may be permitted to drive without restriction.

Ignition Interlock Devices and Repeat Offenders

An ignition interlock device is a requirement for any driver seeking relief from a statutory summary suspension as a result of a driving under the influence arrest after the mandatory suspension period has expired. In addition, for those drivers with multiple driving under the influence convictions, an interlock ignition device will be required before the driver can obtain relief from any mandatory license revocation by way of a hardship permit. The utilization of an ignition interlock device provides drivers the opportunity to maintain their jobs and demonstrate rehabilitation.

Subsequent offenses, however, may still lead to permanent license revocation. Driving is a privilege, not a right, and Illinois lawmakers have made it clear that subsequent offenses will not be tolerated. The hope is that the ignition interlock requirements for repeat offenders will lessen the need for offenders to drive unlawfully (against their probation or with a suspended or revoked license) and allow for monitoring. As for those with repeat offenses, it is possible for a repeat offender to get behind the wheel again in Illinois. Compliance with probationary terms, utilizing the ignition interlock system, and remaining drug and alcohol free are now the only ways to get a suspended or revoked license reinstated in Illinois.

St. Charles Criminal Defense Lawyers

At Bochte, Kuzniar & Navigato, P.C., our veteran St. Charles DUI defense attorneys understand that people make mistakes. While we recognize that people need to face the consequences of their actions, we also believe that people deserve another chance. Many of the new Illinois DUI laws are favorable to repeat offenders and those that are able to exemplify positive changes in their personal lives.

We strive to work with our clients who are serious about making positive changes in their life to try to regain some of the privileges they have lost. Regardless of whether this is your first offense or if you are a repeat offender looking to regain driving privileges, our Kane County defense attorneys are here to help you navigate the legal system. The best thing you can do to preserve your legal rights is to contact an attorney right away if you have been charged with an Illinois crime. Our attorneys will work to minimize the impact of your mistakes on your record and help you move forward with your life. We serve clients in the western suburbs of Chicago and we are available for an initial consultation at (630) 377-7770; call us today.

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