Lawmakers ease DUI penalties advances in legislature

Elaine

Illinois Rep. Elaine Nekritz, D-Northbrook, speaks to lawmakers during a committee hearing at the Illinois State Capitol Wednesday, May 14, 2014, in Springfield, Ill. Drunken driving offenders stripped of their driver’s licenses could hit the road again if a proposal, supported by a prominent anti-drunken driving organization, keeps making its way through the Illinois Legislature. A House committee voted 15-0 to approve legislation that would allow four-time DUI offenders to obtain a restricted driver’s permit, which limits the time and place a person can drive

 

Posted Michelle Jones May. 15, 2014 @ 11:17 am

Supported by a prominent anti-drunken driving organization – drunken driving offenders that were stripped of their driver’s licenses could hit the road again soon if a proposal makes its way through the Illinois Legislature.

On Wednesday, a House committee voted 15-0 to approve legislation that would allow four-time DUI offenders to obtain a restricted driver’s permit, which limits the time and place a person can drive.

The director of the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists, Rita Kreslin- whose son was killed in a crash involving a drunken driver- said the measure improves road safety because many offenders still drive illegally without insurance. She added, that rehabilitated offenders should get another chance.

Kreslin  also said, “I understand the frustration that some people might think that ‘Wow, you’re giving somebody a privilege when they haven’t earned it.’ In some cases that’s true, and those individuals will not be given a permit.”

State Rep. Elaine Nekritz said, “That’s because the application process would be rigorous.”

Under the Northbrook Democrat’s proposal, after three year’s worth of proof of sobriety,going through treatment programs and installing an in-car breathalyzer for LIFE, four-time DUI offenders could only obtain a restricted drivers permit. And only after five years has passed since the lose of their license or their release from prison.

Nekritz said, “A lot of these people are driving anyway, so we might as well legalize them if we can..” She went on to say, “How else do you support your family unless you have transportation? It gives these people one more bite at the apple.”

The Secretary of State’s record indicate that 380 Illinois residents lost driver’s licenses in 2013. A vast majority of these revocations resulted from a fourth DUI conviction. Others involved fleeing the scene of a crash involving serious injuries or reckless driving that resulted in a death.

Jesse White, Secretary of State’s office, along with several statewide law enforcement groups are remaining neutral on the measure.

A lobbyist for the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police,  Laimutis Nargelenas said, “Everybody deserves a second chance, but at the same time, we don’t want them to go out and kill someone either.”

 

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