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McHenry County Drivers' License Reinstatement LawyerDriving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can lead to several administrative and criminal consequences, including the loss of driving privileges. Depending on the circumstances of the alleged drunk driving, the driver’s past criminal history, the results of a breath alcohol test, and other factors, drivers may face a driver’s license suspension or revocation.

While a driver’s license suspension eventually terminates, a revoked license must be reinstated. The driver’s license reinstatement process is the process through which a driver may be granted full or partial driving privileges. One of the most important aspects of the reinstatement process is the drug and alcohol evaluation.

Assessing a Driver’s Risk

Drunk driving is estimated to contribute to a third of all fatal traffic accidents. Driving while intoxicated puts the driver, passengers, other motorists, and pedestrians at risk. To reduce the incidence of drunk driving, Illinois has instituted strict penalties for those convicted of DUI, including driver’s license revocation.

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Woodstock Driver's License Reinstatement AttorneyDriving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) is a criminal offense punishable by administrative and criminal penalties, including the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license. Once a person’s license has been suspended or revoked, it becomes illegal for them to drive. Driving with a suspended or revoked license is a class A misdemeanor punishable by a minimum jail sentence of 10 days and a maximum fine of $2,500. A second offense may be classified as a felony.

If you were arrested for DUI for the second or third time, you may wonder if there is any way to regain your driving privileges. If you are like many people who are arrested for DUI, you do not want to violate the law by driving on a suspended license, but you need to drive to fulfill your daily responsibilities. Fortunately, there may be a way to get your driving privileges back.  

A Restricted Driving Permit (RDP) May Get Your Back on the Road

Like most criminal offenses, the penalties associated with driving under the influence increase with second and subsequent offenses. If you have been arrested for or convicted of drunk driving twice, you may fear that there is no way to regain your driving privileges. However, you may be eligible for partial driving relief through a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP). This permit allows you to drive to specified locations based on your personal needs. For example, the RDP may allow you to travel back and forth to work, medical appointments, drug or alcohol treatment, and your child’s school or daycare.

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defense lawyerRecreational marijuana has been legal in Illinois for nearly two years now. Unfortunately, some Illinois residents assume that because cannabis is legal, that there is no way to get arrested for a cannabis offense in Illinois. On the contrary, there are still many ways in which cannabis use can lead to criminal charges. Driving under the influence of marijuana is still strictly illegal. So-called “drugged driving” can lead to serious criminal penalties and the loss of your driving privileges. Many people wonder how law enforcement officers determine if a driver is under the influence of cannabis.

Driving Under the Influence of Cannabis

Illinois law states that a driver may not operate a vehicle under the influence of marijuana or other intoxicating substances. Marijuana can increase reaction time, dull senses, and decrease a driver’s ability to drive safely. However, how do police know if a driver is under the influence?

During a traffic stop, police first look for obvious signs of marijuana use. The smell of marijuana is often the most tell-tale sign. Red eyes, slowed speech, and a flushed appearance may also be signs that a driver is under the influence of cannabis. Police may also ask the driver to perform a field sobriety test that will show signs of poor balance and other possible signs of intoxication.

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Illinois driver's license reinstatement attorneyThere are many reasons a person could lose their driving privileges. For example, a driver’s license can be suspended or revoked for a DUI charge or conviction, but other offenses could also result in a suspension or revocation. Typically, more serious traffic offenses result in a revocation instead of a suspension. For example, if you cause the death of another person while driving, you will likely be subject to a license revocation. The process of reinstating your license once it has been revoked can be lengthy, but it is possible to do.

Steps to Reinstate a Revoked Driver’s License

In the case of a suspension, a person can lose driving privileges for a specified period of time, the length of which is determined by the crime. For example, a chemical test refusal during a DUI arrest constitutes a six-month suspension for first-time offenders. A revocation, on the other hand, means your driving privileges will be taken away, and a date will not be set for the end of the revocation period. In order to reinstate a revoked driver’s license, you will have to go through a series of steps:

  1. Undergo a Drug or Alcohol Evaluation and Attend an Education Program: Before you can get your license back, you will likely be required to submit to an evaluation for drug and alcohol dependency or misuse. If the evaluator finds that you do have an issue with drugs or alcohol, you will need to seek treatment and obtain proof of that treatment. You will also have to attend remedial education for drug or alcohol issues, even if you were not found to need treatment.

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Crystal Lake driving on a suspended license lawyerIf your Illinois driver’s license has been suspended or revoked for any reason, you may be frustrated by your inability to drive and find yourself tempted to try to do it anyway. Perhaps you think that it is unlikely you will be caught, or you may be in desperate need of transportation. However, driving with a license that has been revoked or suspended can have severe consequences that can make it even more difficult to regain your legal driving privileges in the future.

Criminal Penalties for Driving With a Revoked or Suspended License

According to Illinois law, a person who is caught driving while their license is suspended or revoked may face Class A misdemeanor charges. If you are convicted, the offense will become part of your criminal record, and you may also be assessed a fine of up to $2,500. A license suspension will be extended for the same length of time as it was originally ordered, essentially putting you back at square one when it comes to reinstating your driving privileges. If your license is revoked, you will have to wait an additional year beyond the original term of the revocation before you can apply for reinstatement.

Depending on the reason that your license was originally revoked or suspended, you may face additional penalties. For example, if your license was suspended for failing or refusing a chemical test after a DUI arrest, or if it was revoked due to a DUI conviction or allegations that you left the scene of an accident in which a person was injured or killed, you may be required to serve 10 days in prison or 30 days of community service.

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