Government
10:33 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Lawmaker proposes changes to state drunk driving law

When it comes to drunk driving, Illinois lets people back on the road after two or even three convictions. The same goes for other serious traffic offenses like reckless homicide. But the law currently says "four strikes, and you're out."

 Representative Elaine Nekritz wants to change that. The Democrat from Northbrook is proposing legislation to give another chance to drivers who’ve "turned their lives around." The bill would allow Illinois residents with four or more DUI convictions to apply for a restricted driving permit.They would have to wait at least five years after the date of their last treatment or imprisonment.Nekritz acknowledges concerns that such drivers might not be rehabilitated enough to get back on the road.

 “There’s a balance between those that really have gotten their lives back in order and we want to give them the opportunity to be working and paying taxes.”

 "There's a lot of places in the state that not having a drivers license is going to keep you from being a productive member of society."

 Tom Speedie is a lawyer who handles a lot of DUI cases. He says it's safer to have these drivers regulated with a permit, rather than risking them driving illegally.The restricted permits would force drivers to pass an in-car breath-alcohol test. And it often means only driving to approved locations, like work or school.