Specialized Driving Privileges: What the 2020 Amendment Says

Specialized driving privileges might impact you after a DUI. If you have ever been arrested for driving under the influence, you would have heard of a specialized driving license. If you haven’t, you’ll learn all about it in this article. When you get arrested for a DUI, you lose more than your driving privilege. The inability to drive affects your going to work, the hospital, and even the grocery store.

To mitigate these impacts, Indiana began implementing specialized driving privileges in January 2015. These privileges allowed certain people without licenses to drive for certain reasons and specific conditions. But the holders need to meet some criteria before they can get the specialized privilege.

We’ll also discuss how to get specialized driving privileges. A drunk driving attorney at Rathburn Law Office P.C. can help you if you get arrested for driving under the influence. We know how to mitigate the penalties or get you off the hook.

A DUI Attorney in Indianapolis Explains Specialized Driving Privileges

Before January 1st, 2015, Indiana drivers with suspended licenses could not seek probationary licenses for habitual traffic violations (HTV). They also cannot seek hardship licenses for other suspensions. The restriction made it hard for people to get probationary and hardship licenses. At the time, drivers with suspended licenses had to wait for three to five years before asking an Indiana court for driving privileges.

Things became different with the introduction of specialized driving privileges. It allows drivers to legally get back behind the wheel without waiting for three to five years. This way, even with a suspended license, a person can still drive to work, transport themselves to the hospital and other locations the court deems appropriate.

Getting a specialized driving license is based on merit and decided on a case-to-case basis. Usually, an Indiana judge considers the facts of the case and decides whether or not the applicant should get the driving privilege. If the judge grants the specialized driving privilege, it would be subject to some rules.

For instance, the privileged recipient may have restricted driving time. The judge stipulates the period the driver would be allowed to drive. Also, the driver might be allowed to only drive to specific locations and might have to install an ignition interlock device.

Furthermore, a suspended driver can have suspended driving privileges for a minimum of 180 days and a maximum of two and a half years. Although a suspended driver can drive around with specialized privileges, their original driver’s license remained suspended. It would stay that way until a court decides on it.

How Does the 2020 Amendment Differ? 

In July 2020, the Indiana legislature overhauled the statutes controlling specialized driving privileges. The affected statutes are Indiana Code section 9-30-16-3. The biggest change made by the amendment affects the duration a person can hold the specialized driving privilege license.

Under the new law, the court still reserves the right to determine whether to grant specialized driving privileges. However, the court can choose a lesser or extended period instead of granting it for between 180 days and 2.5 years. It means that the privilege duration is now solely due to the discretion of the court.

Another notable amendment affects the filing of the petition for specialized driving privileges. Now, the petition must bear the same case number as the charge that led to the suspension of the driver’s license. In addition, a person convicted of operating a motorboat under the influence is now eligible for specialized driving privileges.

These changes allow more drivers’ with suspended licenses to drive for a limited period as long as they obey the court rules. Find out more about the amendments to the specialized driving privileges law from our Indianapolis DUI lawyers.

How Can You Seek Specialized Driving Privileges? 

A DUI lawyer can help you file the petition for the specialized driving privilege if you qualify for one. The petition must:

  • Have the signature of the suspended driver
  • Contain the driver’s age, date of birth, and address
  • State the ground of the relief and the relief sought
  • Be filed in the county where the driver lives
  • Be filed in a circuit or superior court
  • Be served on the bureau and the prosecuting attorney

Were You Arrested for a DUI? Contact a DUI Lawyer in Indianapolis Now!

If you were arrested for a DUI in Indianapolis, chances are you qualify for a specialized driving privilege. Our Indianapolis DUI lawyers at Rathburn Law Office P.C. would help you confirm your qualification and then petition the court to get you behind the wheel. Contact us today if you have more questions about specialized driving privileges or to learn more about how we can help you.