Dec 20

When the State of Illinois issues a driver’s license, it grants the ability to operate a motor vehicle, but this privilege is not absolute. If a person regularly disregards traffic laws — or commits serious offenses, such as reckless homicide or driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs — that person can lose his or her driving privileges. 

When the state suspends or revokes a person’s driving privileges, that person cannot drive during the suspension or revocation period. In certain circumstances, Illinois does allow a person to obtain a restricted driving permit, though these permits only allow a person to drive between certain locations and for specific reasons. 

Restricted Driving Permit

When a person has a suspended or revoked driver’s license, he or she can request a restricted driving permit from the state. Restricted driving permits only allow a person to operate a motor vehicle for the following purposes:

  • Driving between home and work or the performance of work duties;
  • Going to or taking a family member to a medical facility for treatment;
  • Driving to a licensed provider for substance abuse treatment activities;
  • Going to or taking a family member to an educational institution for class; or
  • Transporting children or disabled or elderly individuals to or from daycare. 

The Illinois Secretary of State has full discretion to grant or deny a restricted driving permit request. In order to qualify for these permits, a person must be able to demonstrate undue hardship. 

Undue Hardship

In order to receive a restricted driving permit, undue hardship must exist. This is not an easy standard to meet. Essentially, a person must show that — absent a restricted driving permit — he or she would have no reasonably available alternative means of transportation.

If such an inequitable outcome would result, then the Secretary of State will likely issue a restricted driving permit. As noted in the previous section, these permits are only available for limited transportation between approved locations. 

Ignition Interlock Device

If a person has his or her license suspended for an alcohol- or drug-related offense, that person may need to install an ignition interlock device to obtain a restricted driving permit. These devices connect the ignition system of a motor vehicle to a breathalyzer. In order to start the vehicle, the driver must register a test of his or her blood-alcohol concentration (BAC). If the BAC level exceeds the limit, the ignition interlock device prevents the vehicle from starting. 

Do You Need Legal Help?

No matter what the criminal offense, all charges are serious. A sound strategy and an aggressive defense are essential for a positive outcome. To protect your rights in such situations, it is highly advisable to retain legal counsel from an experienced criminal defense attorney.

The Prior Law Firm in Bloomington, Illinois, has proven experience in matters of criminal defense. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free consultation. You can reach The Prior Law Firm by phone at (309) 827-4300, email at or by completing an online form.