For most of us, driving doesn’t feel like a privilege because it’s deeply infused in our everyday life. But if you’ve ever had your license suspended, you quickly learn how much we take driving for granted.
Jumping in the car to take a trip to your favorite restaurant is no longer an option. Meeting friends for Sunday brunch becomes an obstacle. Even a quick ride to the grocery store or the doctor’s office can be difficult.
Fortunately, you may have a chance to get back on the road. As of January 2015, Indiana has replaced Hardship Licenses with Specialized Driving Privileges, which means you may find yourself behind the wheel quicker than you thought.
What’s the difference?
Before this year, a Hardship License allowed you to drive to and from work. Now, if you have Specialized Driving Privileges, you may also be able to drive:
- to and during work
- your children to school and other activities
- to your scheduled parenting time
- to required counseling or therapy sessions
- yourself, or your family members, to medical appointments
- for other needs as allowed by the judge
How does it work?
To receive Specialized Driving Privileges, you must request permission from a judge, who will then review your case. The judge has the authority to grant privileges on different levels based on their discretion and your driving record. For example, they can limit the days and times you’re permitted to drive, or choose to deny you the opportunity to drive at all. In addition, you may have to install an ignition interlock device (a breathalyzer) in your vehicle as part of your driving requirements.
While almost anyone is eligible, even habitual traffic violators, certain people don’t qualify. If you have any of the following, you may not qualify for special privileges:
- Have never held a valid Indiana driver’s license.
- Currently have a commercial driver’s license.
- Refused to submit to a chemical breath test for a DUI/OWI that caused the suspension.
- Convicted of an offense that caused the death of another driver.
- Granted Specialized Driving Privileges before and broke the terms of your conditions.
What to do once privileges are granted
You’ve been granted Specialized Driving Privileges. Great! Now, you’ll need to make sure to follow these three rules to keep them. Remember, they can be taken away at any time if you break the terms of your agreement with the judge.
- Maintain your proof of insurance.
- Carry a copy of your court order when driving.
- Produce your court order if a police officer requests it.
By driving safely and following the rules of your privileges, you should be able to maintain your work and personal lives without more disruption. If you have questions or need help getting back on the road, contact Kyle E. Cray at 765-742-9066.
The content of this blog is intended to be general and informational in nature. It is advertising material and is not intended to be, nor is it, legal advice to or for any particular person, case, or circumstance. Each situation is different, and you should consult an attorney if you have any questions about your situation.