The DUI laws in Illinois were established in 1958, applying to individuals with a blood alcohol content of .15. Then on July 1, 1991, the Cannabis Control Act, or Illinois Controlled Substances Act, went into effect, thereby expanding the definition of driving under the influence.
These laws have changed the limits at which people can drive legally while intoxicated, and the laws themselves change on an annual basis. The legal limit is no longer .15 but rather almost half that.
Breaking these laws leads to stiff penalties, the greatest of which is losing your license.
If you've ever had your driver's license revoked, you fully understand the hardship incurred by losing the freedom to drive.
Furthermore, you understand the difficulty in attempting to acquire permission to drive without your license, just waiting for the time to run its course.
As legalization of marijuana seems inevitable in Illinois, it will mean an increase in marijuana DUIs within the state.
So, if you're a driver who recently lost his or her license in Illinois, not all hope is lost. Here are steps you can take to get your license back in Illinois.
What to Do When Your Illinois License is Revoked
We advocate, of course, that you do not drive while under the influence. If you're going to drink, you should find a sober driver or just drink at home.
However, if you didn’t take our advice or maybe thought you didn’t have enough to be over the legal limit, it's time to know the law.
First-time offenders will lose their license for six or twelve months. However, first-time offenders are also eligible for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit, or an MDDP.
An MDDP allows an individual to operate a vehicle installed with a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device .
If you do lose your license, it's time to take a few basic steps:
Find an Alternative
You've lost your license, so you need to make a plan not just on how to get it back, but on how you will get around.
After all, "my license was revoked" will not work as an excuse to not go to work anymore. In fact, finding a way to go to work will build faith in both legal officials and your current employer.
You can always buy a bike, break out your walking shoes, or budget taxi or uber money.
You lost your license, but the world will still keep revolving, and you'll need to prove you can keep going with it despite this new hardship.
Remember, you need to prove that you're a responsible individual, and maintaining work despite the hardship will demonstrate your resolve.
Where to Go When Your Illinois License is Revoked
The question then remains: Can I get a license back? What about other states?
In Illinois, you certainly might gain the right to drive again, but doing so will take time.
This then leads to a logical question: Can I get a license in another state if my Illinois license is revoked?
You might find yourself tempted to cross state lines to find a different state with different rules.
First of all, be aware of the Driver License Compact, an agreement among states that allows state officials to share information concerning license suspensions, revocations, and traffic violations.
The Driver License Compact lives by the theme of "One Driver, One License, One Record."
So, if you have someone drive you across state lines, you might find out that the very same laws that led to you losing your license will also prevent you from attaining a license there. Most, if not all, states will now allow you to have a license in their state if you are suspended or revoked in another state.
In a nutshell, prove you're not a safety risk. Safety risks don't deserve the privilege of driving on the road with innocent people, so don't be the safety risk. If you clear your revocation in Illinois, you can then get a driver’s license in another state.
If you have taken the necessary steps already, (i.e. gone to treatment, done any one of a myriad of things to prove your responsibility) these steps will help you prove your commitment to people you encounter in the license renewal process.
Seek Legal Counsel
Ultimately, the burden of proof lies on you. The state, be it Illinois or beyond, does not have to prove that you don't deserve a license.
Your license, ultimately, is a privilege and not a right.
So, you need to prove that you're worthy of that license.
This will probably also mean that you'll need legal counsel, as not everyone can navigate the intricacies of the law.
Don’t look for just for attorney, but one who specializes in DUI license reinstatement court cases. This attorney will best know the laws surrounding reinstatement and find the best way to get your license back.
The Right Counsel
If you experience having your Illinois license revoked or suspended, we can help you find a way to get it back.
In light of the legalization of marijuana in multiple states, we've prepared ourselves for the same legalization in Illinois, and the subsequent influx of DUI cases that will follow.
Contact us if you've lost your license and want help finding a way to get it back. We know the law and understand your rights. We can help you find a way to get back on the road again.