Can you drive while your license is revoked if you are not a first-time offender?

Drivers in Illinois are often calling us for legal representation after being arrested for driving on a revoked license. This is a serious crime, with serious penalties. This fact begs the question… did they have to be arrested in the first place? Could they have found a way to drive legally while their license was revoked?

The answer is yes, under some circumstances.

Individuals who have had their licenses revoked, whether it is from a DUI conviction, two statutory summary suspensions arising out of DUI arrests, or other circumstances, can seek to obtain a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP). This request is not made to the Circuit Court but rather to the Illinois Secretary of State's Office.

In order to qualify for an RDP the driver must show to that he or she has a hardship that requires him or her to drive. The hardship could possibly be, depending on the specific circumstances, that he is the sole provider for his family and he has no public transportation to his job, or that she has to drive as part of her job. It all depends on the specific person and circumstances, and must be proven. Further, to qualify for an RDP the driver must also undergo a professional drug and alcohol evaluation and present the results to the Secretary of State's Office with the application. Depending on the circumstances, the individual may also have to show proof that he is seeking or has sought treatment for his problems or remedial education.

Lastly, individuals who are successful in obtaining an RDP with at least 2 alcohol-related driving incidents on their record must use a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) while they drive. It must be installed on the car they will use, which will be designated on the permit.

In order to seek the RDP you must file with the Secretary of State for a formal hearing. You are entitled to have an attorney represent you at the hearing. Hiring a trained DUI lawyer who can walk you through the steps leading up to the hearing, the request for the hearing and the hearing itself can help relieve you of the stress accompanied with the task of managing the complex nature of the licensure and permit process.

The blog is not a complete view of the entire process required to obtain an RDP, nor does it fully explain what or who will qualify for a permit, as the process and requirements are complex and constantly changing. However, it is meant to provide individuals with the understanding that there are legal ways to drive after a DUI or DUI arrest.

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