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Driving (legally) after a DUI is still possible for some

Choosing to drive after consuming alcohol can have disastrous consequences here in Illinois because it could mean losing your driver's license and ability to legally drive in the state -- or elsewhere for that matter.

While some may not encounter too much difficulty after losing their license, you might find it devastating, especially if:

  • Your work is extremely far away from where you live
  • You live apart from your children because of divorce or a separation
  • You do not have an accessible bus route nearby
  • You are unable to find someone willing to drive you places

If your driving privileges were suspended because of a drunk driving offense and you need your license to get around, then a restricted driving permit is something you should consider applying for.

What is an RDP?

An RDP, or restricted driving permit, is something offered in Illinois to people whose driving privileges have been suspended because of DUI convictions or DUI arrests.

It's important to note that it's not enough to say you need restricted driving privileges. You need to "prove a hardship exists," explains the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State. Examples of hardships can include needing your license to perform your work, or needing it to pick up your children per a custody arrangement.

Where does an RDP allow you to go?

The limits of an RDP depend on your situation. If your work is miles away from where you live but you are within walking distance or a bus route to get to stores, your RDP may only allow you to go to and from work. If you are miles away from work and stores, your RDP may restrict you to a specified radius from your home.

Is it necessary to get legal counsel?

When applying for an RDP, you not only need to show why you need your driving privileges reinstated, but also positive steps you have taken to eliminate the chances of future DUIs (i.e. completion of alcohol or drug  treatment, remedial education, and/or a professional alcohol/drug evaluation). You may also need to attend a formal hearing if your initial attempts to obtain an RDP fail.

A skilled criminal defense lawyer not only understands the law, but how it applies to your situation. As such, they are better able to explain your situation to the courts and showcase why an RDP should be granted. Attorneys are incredibly beneficial in these types of situations and can mean the difference between having the courts grant an RDP and having a request denied.

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