Drunk driving presents a real problem. No one wants to be on the road with an intoxicated driver. Most likely, even drivers who are operating a vehicle while their blood alcohol content (BAC) is above Illinois' legal limit, were they sober, would be uncomfortable with their own driving. They probably know that many of those killed in alcohol-related crashes are the intoxicated drivers.
At the same time, with very few exceptions in Illinois, if you cannot drive a motor vehicle, you will have great difficulty earning a living and maintaining a home. Like most of the nation, a car is essential to many basic functions of day-to-day life.
When someone has been convicted of multiple DUIs, the frequent response of the legislature has been to increase the penalties imposed. And the primary penalty is lengthening the time in jail.
While this solves the immediate problem of preventing the person from driving drunk, it does nothing, absent an effective alcohol or substance abuse treatment program, to address the underlying problem.
And after their jail time, they need to be able to find a job, begin working or any of the other tasks that demand the use of a car. This may be impossible if their license was permanently revoked.
A new Illinois law is designed to help some of these drivers return safely to driving. It provides that if they can prove they have remained sober for three years and install an ignition interlock device, they can receive restricted license that would allow them to drive to work, go to school or drive to a doctor's office.
Driving is an essential tool most people need to maintain a job. This law will provide another chance for individuals to rebuild their lives after a DUI.
Source: chicago.suntimes.com, “THE WATCHDOGS: Despite 4 DUI convictions, 5,085 Illinois drivers could be back on road — legally,” Tim Novak: September 20, 2015