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Law to allow driving permits for lifetime revocation for Illinois DUI fails

Posted by Steven H. Fagan | May 23, 2014 | 0 Comments

In a disappointing and short-sighted move, a proposed Illinois law that would have given DUI offenders with lifetime revocations the opportunity to legally drive with a highly restricted driver's permit. Lifetime revocations are imposed after four convictions on the charge of driving under the influence (DUI) or alcohol or drugs. No permit for hardship or work, even with an breath ignition interlock device that would only allow driving when sober. The measure has been defeated on a vote by the Illinois House of Representatives.

The law firm of Fagan, Fagan & Davis focus on legal defense in the state of Illinois, including driving under the influence (DUI) at courthouses in Cook County, Lake County and DuPage County.

The proposed legislation, sponsored by Rep. Elaine Nekritz, D-Northbrook, received only 52 votes, eight votes shy of the 60 votes that were needed for it to advance. Concerns had been expressed that providing a individuals with an opportunity to drive again after four DUI convictions was just too much of a safety risk to drivers.

Rep. Nekritz had countered those arguments by reminding her colleagues that compelling committee testimony from people who need another opportunity to drive to and from their employment had provided a valid reason to approve the legislative proposal. “We need to offer these people hope,” she said. "I know that it's controversial. I know that it's difficult. But I think it's the right policy for the state of Illinois."

Rep. Nekrtiz did use a parliamentary procedure designed to preserve possible a vote in the future on the same legislation in the event that she is able to pick up additional support. However, the odds of picking up that support are long given that more than a majority of the chamber voted against the bill.

The legislative proposal would have provided that certain persons ineligible to re-apply for a driver's license would be allowed to apply for an RDP after the expiration of five years from the effective date of the most recent revocation. The person would be required to prove by clear and convincing evidence that they have had a minimum of three years of uninterrupted sobriety from alcohol and other drugs. And, they would be required to successfully complete all rehabilitative activity recommended by a properly licensed service provider.

The legislative proposal also provided that the secretary of state shall cancel a restricted driving permit issued under these conditions should the holder fail to comply with BAIID requirements. That person shall then be ineligible to re-apply for restricted driving privileges. A BAIID is an ignition interlock device that would prevent a motorist from driving with any significant measure of alcohol in their system, and has been successfully doing so for years in Illinois.

The legislative proposal also specified that a bona fide resident of a foreign jurisdiction who would be eligible for an RDP under the new provisions and, if the person were a resident of the state of Illinois, they would be allowed to make application for termination of the revocation after a period of 10 years from the effective date of the most recent revocation.

Finally, the legislative proposal provided that if a person who has been granted a termination of revocation subsequently becomes a resident of the state of Illinois, the revocation shall be reinstated and the person shall be subject to the provisions concerning the issuance of an RDP.

About the Author

Steven H. Fagan

Steve Fagan earned his law degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law, is a member of the NCDD, NACDL, ISBA and a founding member of the DUIDLA. He is published and has taught CLE for lawyers on subjects such as sex offenses, DUI and criminal defense, focuses on trial work and Real Estate closings


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