Update: DUI & Lifetime Revocation Legislation

For the last several years, Larry Davis has been engaged in negotiations on behalf of the Illinois State Bar Association (‘ISBA’) and the Illinois Lawyers and Substance Abuse Counselors Association (‘ILSACA’) with the Office of the Secretary of State (‘SOS’) regarding several proposed changes to the Illinois driver licensing laws as well changes in the Illinois DUI laws with other interested parties.

We are pleased to advise you that the SOS Traffic Safety Advisory Committee has voted to approve many these proposals. The accepted proposals include the following:

Elimination of all ‘hard times’ under current law. Simply put, these are statutory periods during which a driver could not obtain relief during certain periods of a statutory summary suspension (‘SSS’) or revocation. These include:

1. First offender SSS – Drivers will be eligible for a Monitored Device Driving Permit (MDDP) from day 1 of the suspension (currently cannot obtain a permit until the 31st day of the SSS);

2. Second offender SSS – Drivers will be eligible to apply for a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP) from day 1 of the suspension (currently cannot obtain any driving privileges during the entire length of the suspension – generally ranging from a period of 1-3 years. Additionally, drivers with extensions of these suspensions due to convictions for driving while suspended will also be able to apply for a RDP (they currently are not eligible to apply);

3. Individuals with 5-year and 10-year revocations will now be able to apply for a RDP from day 1 of the revocation (currently unable to apply for the first year of the revocation);

There are also other provisions which will expand the use of BAIID device.

These proposals are a matter of fairness for those drivers who have been rehabilitated and need to be able to drive to support themselves and their families and want to be productive members of society.

Legislation has been drafted to implement these proposals. It is our hope that the proposals will be enacted into law this Spring and signed by the Governor over the summer. At this time, we cannot provide you with an effective date.

Former “Lifetime Revocations” Eligible for Restricted Driving Permits Under Certain Conditions. We are also pleased to report that a separate piece of legislation that Larry Davis has authored on behalf of the ISBA and ILSACA will allow those with lifetime revocations to apply for a Restricted Driving Permit under certain conditions. Under current Illinois law, those with four (4) DUI convictions (the last arrest occurring on or after 1/1/99) are not eligible to apply for any driving relief – thus the term ‘lifetime’.

This legislation has passed the House and is now awaiting action in the Senate. Although we cannot predict the outcome, we are hopeful of passage and that the Governor will see fit to sign the legislation. Again, we cannot yet provide you with an effective date.

Per Se Level for Cannabis Impairment. Pending legislation provides that absent impairment, a driver can no longer be charged with DUI just because there is a trace amount of cannabis in the person’s system. The new per se law will set the cannabis level at 15 nanograms per milliliter of whole blood and 25 nanograms per milliliter of other bodily substances.

If you are wondering what you can do to help, you can call you local State senator or representative and urge them to pass these pieces of legislation.

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