So, you got caught driving under the influence, you were arrested, you went through the legal process, you have felt the financial burden, and you had your license suspended or even revoked.
Getting a DUI and going through this process is not fun, and it can also put a huge financial hardship on you and your loved ones.
If you or a loved one have had your license suspended or revoked in the Wheaton area, you probably are dealing with a lot of hardships on your day-to-day life.
Luckily, license reinstatement is an option to potentially save your license and keep your legal ability to drive.
Here are the things you need to know in order to get license reinstatement following a DUI conviction.
How Does it Work?
Reinstatement is usually a path on the table if your driver’s license has been revoked for an indefinite period of time. If you have a suspension for a finite amount of time, you will get your license back at the completion of the suspension.
In Illinois (including Wheaton), a license revocation can occur if you have multiple DUIs. You can have it revoked for five years on your second DUI conviction, 10 years on your third DUI conviction, and permanently if you have four or more DUIconvictions (but you may be eligible for a Restricted Driving Permit).
When your license has been revoked, you can apply to have it reinstated. If you have had multiple DUIs like in this scenario, the reinstatement fee is $500 per revocation. There is an additional $50 fee if you need a formal hearing.
What are the Requirements?
Besides the 12 months time-lapse from revocation and the application fee, the requirements for getting your license reinstated include the following:
- No driving violations
- Having an alcohol and/or drug evaluation
- Proof of treatment if an alcohol or drug problem exists
- Completing an alcohol and/or drug educational program
- Providing proof of financial responsibility
- Meeting with a Secretary of State hearing officer
- Passing a written exam
- Passing a driving exam
- Passing a visual exam
With at least 10 separate requirements having to be fulfilled before you can even be considered for reinstatement, you need to be prepared with this information as far in advance as possible from your reinstatement eligibility date.
Knowing this and talking it over with a license reinstatement attorney in the Wheaton area can give you the time and knowledge you need to increase your chances of getting your license back.
What is Your Risk?
Before you go through the hearing process, you will have to have an evaluation to determine how much of a risk you are with alcohol and drugs.
There are three different levels an evaluator can rate you for this. These are as follows:
- Minimal Risk
- Moderate or Significant Risk
- High Risk
Which risk rating you get can definitely impact what you will have to do before possible reinstatement. These risk ratings are there partially because of crash statistics. In that Illinois sample, 84% of traffic fatality victims with any BAC % in their system had a .08% or higher.
If you are evaluated as a minimal risk, you just have to do an educational class. If you are at moderate or significant risk, you will have to do the minimum requirements plus early intervention, alcohol/drug treatment, and participate in status reports.
However, if you are at high risk, you will have to do all of the above plus get three letters from members of a support program, three letters from sources outside of that, and proof of completion of treatment.
Prepare For a Possible BAIID
BAIID stands for Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device. It is usually put in place when someone has a . restricted driving permit.
If you have multiple DUIs, you may have to have this installed in your vehicle and pay for all of the installations and operating fees that come with the device.
There are more specific BAIID rules here, but the simple rules are that you have to regularly breathe into a device that will measure your BAC. The device will make sure that you are staying sober and below at least a .05% BAC. This will happen every time you start your vehicle and sometimes while you are driving around Wheaton
If you fail the breath test, your vehicle will not start. If you do not follow the BAIID requirements, you could face more severe penalties.
What if You are Denied?
If you are denied reinstatement at your hearing, you have the option of asking for another hearing 90 days after the last one.
Unfortunately, it is not a guarantee that you will get a reinstatement just because you are asking for one. You need to make sure you fulfill all of the requirements and be on your best behavior throughout the process.
Behavior and testimony at the hearing can affect your chances of having a ruling go in your favor. So, make sure you keep your cool and prepare.
Start Your Reinstatement Process in Wheaton Today
We provide a free consultation if you just want to dip your toes in and see if this is the right legal representation for you.
Not only do we work with Wheaton residents, but we also work with anyone with an Illinois driver’s license issue, including out-of-state residents, and fight for all of them to be reinstated. Make sure you have legal counsel by your side for your DUI reinstatement and license hold cases.
Contact us for more information about the reinstatement process and find out how we can help you get started today.