Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol causes many car crashes every year in New Jersey. In Illinois, a new law could allow motorists who have had their licenses revoked after being convicted of four or more DUI offenses to legally drive again. The drivers could get restricted permits if they have been free of alcohol and drugs for at least three years.

The new law will allow drivers to operate their vehicles after they are equipped with an interlock device, which is designed to prevent a car from starting or operating if a driver is under the influence of alcohol. Over 5,000 drivers who have been banned from driving due to DUI convictions may be eligible to drive under the new law.

Previously, Illinois drivers who had been convicted of four or more DUI convictions were banned for life from getting their licenses reinstated. Under the new law, any driver who obtains a restricted permit and is subsequently convicted for DUI offense may not obtain a restricted permit again. The new law is expected to create new opportunities for those who have been banned from driving due to their criminal records who have been able to remain sober in recent years.

While a first offense DUI does not usually carry harsh penalties unless the incident led to a serious accident, multiple DUI convictions may have serious lifetime consequences, such as permanent license suspension and the loss of career opportunities. A person who is accused of DUI may wish to consult a criminal defense attorney, who may be able to assist by negotiating a plea agreement with the prosecutor that would involve a plea of guilty to a lesser offense in exchange for a significant reduction in penalties.