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Reinstating your license after a DUI in Illinois

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Posted on October 22, 2019

Illinois has strict penalties for DUI drivers, which may include the suspension of your driver’s license. Losing your driver’s license can have a massive impact on your life.

Illinois is one of the states that does not automatically reinstate your license after a DUI. You must go through a formal process to get your driving privileges back. This makes it that much more important to understand the process, so you can understand your options.

How to get your license back

If you are a first-time offender, you may receive an automatic driver’s license suspension of one year. After your suspension is over, you can start the process of reinstating your driver’s license. At this point, you and your attorney can start the formal process to get your license back.

To begin the process of license reinstatement, you may be required to:

  • Complete an alcohol and drug evaluation
  • Complete an alcohol and drug education program
  • Pay up to $500 in reinstatement fees
  • Pay an application fee
  • Appear at a court hearing with a hearing officer
  • Pass the driver’s license exam

Keeping your license after a DUI

If this is your first DUI, you may have an alternative option available to you. You may be eligible to have a Ignition Interlock Device installed in your car. If this is an option available to you, you may have to pay an additional fee to keep your license and have this device installed. However, completing these steps could mean you will be able to keep your license and the freedom to drive.

Another option that may be available to you is a Restricted Driving Permit. This permit allows you to drive only to certain places, like school or work. You and your attorney must prove that not being able to drive creates a hardship for you and your family. The Secretary of State will look at your drug and alcohol evaluation and issue the final decision regarding your license.

If you are facing a DUI charge in Illinois, a criminal defense attorney can explain the options available to you and fight for you to keep your driving privileges. An experienced attorney can also help you gather evidence, complete the reinstatement process and may be able to minimize any other penalties.