If Your License is Suspended, Can You Drive to Work?

Following an arrest for drunk driving, one of the most frightening penalties is the idea of having your license taken away from you. The truth of the matter is that license suspension is a very real threat to those who are facing DUI accusations. In DUI related cases, there are several situations where you could lose your license in the state of Illinois. For example, you may lose your license if you:

  • Failed chemical testing with a BAC of 0.08 percent or more; or
  • Refused to submit to chemical testing at all.

In Illinois, the failure of chemical testing will result in a six month suspension of driving privileges for the first offense, and a suspension of one year for second or subsequent offenses within five years. In cases of refusing to submit to chemical testing, a first offense will result in a twelve month suspension of driving privileges, and a three year suspension for second or subsequent offenses.

The question, however, is does a license suspension keep you from driving at all, or are there circumstances where it is still okay to get behind the wheel? For example, could you still drive to work? In some cases, yes! There are a few options that may be applicable to your situation that could still let you drive to work after your driving privileges have been suspended. The first is a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP), which is issued by the Secretary of State and allows for unlimited driving during a statutory summary suspension.

Someone who's been convicted of a first offense of a chemical test failure or a refusal to submit to chemical testing is eligible to receive a MDDP on the 31st day of suspension. Those who receive a MDDP are allowed to drive wherever they want—including work—however, they are required to have a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAAID) installed in every single vehicle they would use.

The following individuals are not eligible for a MDDP:

  • Someone who is younger than 18 years of age;
  • Someone with an otherwise invalid driver's license;
  • Someone whose DUI arrest caused death or great bodily harm; and
  • Someone previously convicted of Reckless Homicide or Aggravated DUI.

The second option that can be considered is a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP). This allows for the permit holder to drive depending on the terms of the permit. To be eligible, the individual must be able to prove that the loss of driving privileges is causing "undue hardship" from employment, education, children, etc. If eligible, that someone can then contact a local Hearing Officer. From there, the individual will be required to undergo an alcohol/drug evaluation by a Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (DASA)-licensed provider. This provider will classify the individual as minimal risk, moderate or significant risk, or high risk.

After the alcohol/drug requirements are met, the individual can either ask for an informal or formal hearing. If it is a first offense or if their incident did not cause a fatality, they can have an informal hearing; if their offense caused a fatality or if they have been convicted before, it will need to be a formal hearing. During these hearings, the individual's driving record will be evaluated to determine whether or not they would be a threat to public safety if allowed onto the roads. If a multiple offender with at least two alcohol-related driving incidents on their record, a BAAID will need to be installed.

So what is the short answer to the question posed above? Yes...but only sometimes. There are certain circumstances where you could very well be eligible to drive to work even after having your license suspended. The only way to know for sure though is to work with an experienced Peoria DUI lawyer. By talking to an experienced attorney, you can have them evaluate your case to determine whether or not you are eligible for the above forms of driving relief. If you are interested in discussing your case with a legal professional, do not hesitate to get the involvement of the Johnson Law Group. With more than half of a century of combined legal experience, our firm is able to help those accused of drunk driving to get their life back in order. We can help fight to protect you against conviction or, if that option is simply not feasible, fight to make sure the consequences are as light as possible. Call today for your free consultation!

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