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Feeling special?

New driving privilege law

By Jeff Terrill

Fort Wayne Reader


Good news for Indiana drivers with suspended licenses. On January 1, 2015 a new specialized driving privilege law took effect in Indiana. The new law gives courts more options and expanded authority over driver license suspensions.

The new specialized driving privileges apply to most types of license suspensions. The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) suspends thousands of licenses. Some drivers are grounded because they fail to provide proof of insurance or forget to pay a speeding ticket. Others are suspended after refusing or failing a chemical test. Regardless of the reasons, most suspended drivers are now eligible to petition for this new type of driving permit. Even a person with a lifetime license suspension might benefit from the new law. A judge can stay a BMV license suspension and get a person back behind the wheel.

The following types of people are not eligible: those who have never had a valid Indiana license or who have a commercial driverís license; or those who have refused to submit to a chemical test. Additionally, a person who gets convicted more than once for violating the specialized driving privileges law is not eligible.

Those who believe they are eligible for the new specialized driving privilege need to petition the court within their county of residence. Depending on the type of suspension, a person might be required to pay a filing fee to the court clerk. A petition needs to be sworn and include the petitionerís age, date of birth, address and explain the reasons for needing the license.

If granted, a judge could limit the type of driving and restrict the locations for the driving. For example, a judge could order that a person can have specialized driving privileges to get to work and back and to transport the personís minor children to and from school. A judge could also limit a person from driving after and before certain hours of the day. Additionally, the court could require a person to install an ignition interlock device within the personís car. That type of device requires a person to provide a clean breath sample before the car will start.

A person who receives a specialized driving privilege is required to maintain proof of auto insurance and have a copy of the courtís order in the car.

There are some additional disqualifiers and requirements for specialized driving permits not mentioned above.

The new law will help a lot of people. The more legal drivers on the roads, the better off we all are.

Jeff Terrill is a partner/shareholder with the law firm of Arnold Terrill Anzini, P.C. Mr. Terrill represents clients accused of crimes throughout northeast Indiana. You can contact Mr. Terrill with any questions or comments at his office at 260.420.7777 or via email at jterrill@fortwaynedefense.com. Learn more about his firm at www.fortwaynedefense.com. This article expressed opinions and observations of the author, is not intended as legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship between the author and the reader. Please consult a qualified attorney with any legal questions or issues you might have. Thank you

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