By James Holder, Attorney at Law, Mar 13 2018 07:37PM
I continue to meet with people driving without a license as a result of a suspension of their driving privileges in Indiana without any knowledge they can probably obtain a license. At a minimum most people can obtain a restricted driver’s license by Petitioning the court for a Specialized Driving Privilege. The Specialized Driving Privilege can range from nearly full driving privileges to limited driving privileges, usually at least to work and back.
It is easier to discuss who cannot receive a Specialized Driving Privilege as opposed to who can. A Refusal to submit to a chemical test when suspected of driving while intoxicated, and drunk driving causing death are two of the most prominent examples of situations where a Specialized Driving Privileges cannot be obtained. Even the exception for suspension for failure to submit to the chemical test is limited to only that period of suspension (usually 1 year). Any subsequent suspensions are not excluded from the specialized driving statute.
Although there are some time constraints, generally, most people can obtain Specialized Driving Privileges immediately upon suspension.
In addition to Specialized Driving Privileges, people who are involved in an accident without insurance and thus are suspended indefinitely for failure to pay for the damages resulting from the accident, may file a Petition for Bankruptcy and have their driving privileges reinstated.
Further, people with a Life Suspension of their driving privileges, may under certain circumstances, obtain their regular driving privileges after 10 (in some instances 3) years of suspension. If they are under 3 - 10 years of their suspension, they too can petition the court for Specialized Driving Privileges.
In summary, it is safe to say that Indiana has changed its perspective on driving suspensions with a focus on getting people to work so they can be productive members of society. The Specialized Driving Privilege Statute allows the court a lot of leeway in how it may balance the protection of society with the legislative desire and intent to get people back to work and other necessary aspects of their daily lives.