People tend to focus on jail time and fines when discussing criminal acts, such as impaired or drunk driving. However, for offenses that involve a motor vehicle, those aren’t the only penalties that can drastically change a person’s life. The state may also suspend or revoke your license.

The more previous offenses you have on your record, the longer the suspension will be. Not being able to drive can cause all kinds of problems. You may have to beg friends or family for a ride to work, or you could find yourself dependent on expensive ride-sharing services or unreliable public transportation. That can strain your relationships or even endanger your job if you have trouble arriving on time.

Protecting your license after an impaired driving charge is of utmost importance for keeping your life as stable as possible. However, doing so often requires special equipment and hearings.

Illinois does issue restricted driving permits

Even if it is your first offense, the state of Illinois is likely to suspend or substantially limit your license. First-time DUI offenses can carry a requirement to install a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID). While some states use systems that only check your breath, the Illinois system requires a unit with a camera so that they can verify that drivers aren’t having friends or family members falsify the test results.

While the BAIID may seem like a punishment to a first-time offender, it may seem like a blessing to someone with a previous drunk driving conviction. Having that device installed in your vehicle is usually the first step toward securing a restricted license during a lengthy license suspension.

A restricted license is a boon to those with multiple DUI convictions

After your second or third impaired driving charge, the only way that you can continue driving is through a restricted license program. Unless you successfully defend against the criminal allegations, the state will suspend your license. Installing a BAIID is the only way that you will retain the freedom that comes with having your own vehicle.

The state of Illinois will likely limit the hours of the day that you can drive, as well as what locations you can travel to while your license is still under restriction. It’s also important that you understand that if you attempt to drive any vehicle that does not have a BAIID installed, you could wind up losing your limited license and facing consequences.

If you have four or more previous offenses, you won’t even qualify to install a BAIID until you have served five years of your license revocation period. At that time, you can request a hearing to obtain a limited or restricted license. Working with an experienced criminal defense attorney is one of the best ways to improve your odds of success when seeking a limited license.