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Repeat DUI Offenders Could Get Back Some Driving Privileges

Dave Dahl — Illinois Radio Network

Four drunken-driving convictions would lead you to believe there’s a bad habit there.

Still, some lawmakers — including a majority in the Illinois House — say there are still some drivers like that who should have driving privileges.

State Sen. Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) says he found himself surprised to be a convert. “The point here is this is exactly for the person who has stopped,” Harmon said during debate, “and has proved convincingly that they have stopped. It is not a restoration of a driver’s license; it’s a limited permit so one can go to and from work.”

Of course, it’s possible some people are behind the wheel despite having no valid license.

State Sen. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) looked back on his days as a prosecutor. “We always run into trouble of people get a DUI, they lose their license, and they can’t get to work,” he said. “But, to be brutally honest, my experience is once you come back from a third DUI, you’re going to keep going until you’ve killed yourself or you’ve killed somebody else or you’re in prison.”

HB 1446 has failed to pass the Senate, 25-19-2, but the sponsor reserves the right to call it again.

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