How to Get a Restricted License After a DUI

Published: Jun 16, 2017, by admin in DUI, Legal Blog

If you get convicted of driving under the influence (DUI), the Illinois Secretary of State (SOS) will revoke your driver’s license for at least one year. Even if you beat the charges – or you never get charged at all – your initial DUI arrest may cause the suspension of your license. If you fail or refuse the chemical test given to you after your first DUI arrest, you will face a three- or six-month summary license suspension.

During your summary suspension period, you cannot apply for a restricted license. But if your license has been revoked, you can obtain a restricted driving permit, also known as an RPD, once the summary suspension period is over. An RPD allows you to drive during certain hours of the day to and to restricted areas for the sole purpose of:

  • Attending work
  • Getting to medical appointments, school, or daycare for you or a dependent
  • Participating in a substance abuse class

The only way to get an RPD is to attend an administrative hearing, over the course of which you will need to convince the authorities that you deserve to have limited driving privileges because of hardship. You will also need to prove that you are not a threat to public safety and that you are taking steps to curb your substance abuse.

With a Chicago DUI lawyer by your side, your chances of succeeding at this administrative hearing will be greatly enhanced. Call O’Meara Law today at 312-909-0706 for a free and confidential consultation about how to restore your driving privileges.

What Are the Conditions for Obtaining an RPD?

It may not be worth the time and money to go through the process of requesting an RPD if your situation does not allow for it. To get an RPD, the following must apply to your case:

  • You have an undue hardship – You must demonstrate that it is unduly inconvenient for you to take public transportation, a taxi, or any other mode of transportation to get to school, your job, your doctor, or your substance abuse counselor.
  • You have a Uniform alcohol/drug abuse evaluation – This must be completed within six months of your request for an RPD.
  • You are taking steps to address your substance abuse – Even if you believe you were innocent, you want to make your case look as good as possible. Attend substance abuse courses even if you don’t have a drug or alcohol problem.
  • You have a relatively clean driving record – The hearing officer will review your driving record, and if you have many infractions or prior DUIs, you will probably not be able to get an RPD. You must not have any pending tickets at the time of your application.
  • You can afford a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIIRD) – If you have two or more driving incidents involving alcohol on your record, you must have a BAIIRD on your vehicle to get an RPD. Alternatively, you must use a BAIIRD if you have a single alcohol-related incident that was aggravated by an injury or death.
  • You are over 16 years of age – Drivers under this age with revoked driving privileges are not eligible for relief.

What’s the Process for Getting an RPD?

You may obtain an RPD only by presenting your case at an informal or formal hearing with the Secretary of State’s Department of Administrative Hearings. You will need to pay a $50 fee to receive an official hearing, but this is well worth the investment because the Secretary of State will make records of the hearing (which may prove useful in your criminal DUI case) and the decision is subject to appeal.

Remember to bring an ID card with you to your hearing. If you don’t have a passport, state-issued ID card, or driving license, you will not be allowed inside the building to attend your hearing.

There are three possible outcomes of a license suspension or revocation hearing:

  • The restoration of your driving privileges – If you can prove that your DUI arrest was baseless, or that you were not driving under the influence
  • The granting of an RPD – If you can prove that you are not a threat to public safety and that you need limited driving privileges for work, school, medical appointments, or substance abuse classes
  • The denial of all driving privileges – If the authorities conclude that you are eligible for either of the above remedies

The Secretary of State will mail the decision to you within 90 days of your hearing. You cannot get your results over the phone. If the Secretary of State decides to deny you a restricted driving permit, and your license has been revoked, you may have to wait up to one year or more before requesting the reinstatement of your license.

Give Yourself the Best Chances of Success with a Chicago DUI Attorney

Do not continue to drive with a suspended license. If you get caught, you may face an even longer suspension or revocation period, jail time, and the possible seizure of your car. For this reason, you should give yourself the best chances possible of succeeding at the administrative hearing by retaining experienced legal counsel.

At O’Meara Law, we’ve helped hundreds of people just like you to retain or regain their driving privileges after a DUI. Call us today at 312-909-0706 for a free and confidential consultation.