Illinois residents convicted of multiple DUIs have a new path towards restoration of driving privileges.

On Thursday, August 6, Governor Rauner signed into law Public Act 99-0290, which allows persons with four or more previous DUI convictions to obtain a restricted driving permit. The new law will be a boost for people who got DUIs years ago but have since achieved sobriety. But the process isn’t a cakewalk.

Obtaining a restricted driving permit requires a hearing under 625 ILCS 5/2-118, which must take place at least five years after the most recent DUI conviction or five years after the release from prison for the most recent DUI conviction. In other words, if your fourth DUI occurred less than five years ago, or you got released from prison on your fourth DUI less than five years ago, you still have some waiting to do. Once five years have elapsed, you become entitled to a hearing.

At the hearing, the person seeking a restricted driving permit must show by clear and convincing evidence that he or she (1) has been sober for a minimum of three years, (2) has completed an approved substance-abuse rehabilitation program, and (3) is participating in “ongoing rehabilitative activity.” 625 ILCS 5/6-205(c)(1.5). This is an administrative hearing in front of the Secretary of State, not a trial before a judge or jury. The applicant for a restricted driving permit has the power to examine witnesses under oath and subpoena witnesses or documents for the hearing officer to review in making his or her decision.

If a restricted driving permit is issued, the person’s vehicle must be equipped with a blood-alcohol-ignition-interlock (BAIID) device, which prevents the car from being operated if the driver has a blood-alcohol content over .025 percent. That is a small price to pay for having one’s driving privileges restored.

If you believe you are eligible for a restricted driving permit under this new law Bruno Law Offices is here to assist you. Please contact us at (217) 328-6000.