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Applying for a restricted license can help you stay independent

The term "restricted license" most likely makes the average person think of a teenage driver who only has a learning permit and needs a licensed adult in the vehicle with them to drive. However, adults can also find themselves driving with a restricted license after an impaired driving charge.

While the thought of a restricted license sounds humiliating to some people, in reality it is a great boon to those who might otherwise not be able to drive themselves anywhere. Securing a restricted license in Illinois usually requires attending a court hearing after the suspension of your license and may be an option even if you can't fully reinstate your license.

Be ready to demonstrate how losing your license constitutes a hardship

The average resident in Illinois needs a license to handle the basics of daily life. From commuting to work to taking the children to school or performing basic household chores such as purchasing groceries, everything you do in life is infinitely more difficult if you don't have a valid license.

Some individuals have a stay-at-home spouse who can drive them everywhere without a problem. Others have significant financial resources which may allow them to hire a driver temporarily or pay for rideshare services indefinitely. However, cabs and rideshare services are prohibitively expensive for many families living on a budget.

If you can demonstrate that living without a license could prove difficult for you and your family and that you don't have the resources to obtain reliable alternative transportation, you may be able to go through the informal hearing and official court hearing successfully. The courts may consider your hardship appeal and award you a restricted driving permit.

Make sure that you comply with all the limitations the state places on your license

Many times, to reduce the risk of recidivism, a restricted license has limits placed by the court. For example, they may only allow you to drive in the event of an emergency or when you commute to specific places, such as your children's school or your place of employment. Restrictions on what hours you can drive are also common. You may even need to install a device to test your breath before you start your vehicle.

Although it can feel frustrating not having the full freedom to drive when and where you want to, compliance with the program is the best way to get your full driving privileges back. A restricted license is a form of reprieve for those who must commute to provide for their families and for whom the total loss of their license is a severe hardship.

Going to court and pleading your case for an Illinois restricted license may not be the easiest thing to do, but it can be incredibly beneficial as you attempt to rebuild your life after an impaired driving charge.

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