Under Indiana law, a court may grant certain persons convicted or accused of motor vehicle related crime, such as DUI/OVWI, a legal remedy called “Specialized Driving Privileges.” These privileges permit a person, whose license has been suspended, the ability drive for specific purposes (work, school, childcare, medical appointments, etc.) upon a showing of necessity (financial need, health & safety, etc.).
Historically, these privileges are not available to certain people if they:
- Have never been an Indiana resident,
- Refused to submit to a chemical test offered in a DUI investigation (meaning their license was automatically suspended for at least one year),
- Suspension resulted from operation of a motor vehicle causing death,
- Have previously been granted specialized driving privileges and have more than one conviction for knowingly violating a condition imposed regarding the privileges,
- Who were suspended or revoked by the BMV as incompetent or unfit to operate a motor vehicle, or
- Who were suspended concerning passing a school bus.
Fortunately, in the event of refusing a chemical test offered by a police officer during a DUI/OVWI stop, you may now be eligible for these specialized driving privileges as of July 1, 2020. Under Indiana Code 9-30-6-8(d), a court may now authorize specialized driving privileges after chemical test refusal under one condition: your vehicle be equipped with a functioning certified ignition interlock device.
The ignition interlock device is a breathalyzer that is installed inside your vehicle. As the driver, you will be required to blow into it before it will start. So long as the device does not detect alcohol, your vehicle can be operated. Even if trace amount of alcohol is detected, the vehicle will be immobilized for a period of time.
Not only will you be permitted to drive in specified circumstances if an ignition interlock device is installed a condition of a specialized driving privilege, but the period of the installation will be credited as part of the suspension. The cost of the device varies depending on where you live, but generally, you will be required to pay an installation fee as well as a small daily fee (around $3 / day) during the period the device is installed.
For this exception to be granted, you will need to petition the court and present sound arguments. Hiring experienced DUI/OVWI attorneys is crucial to obtaining this court order. The attorneys at Banks & Brower are available 24/7, every day, by calling (317) 526-4630 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to resolve your case.