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Lawmakers Weigh Measure Giving Four-Time DUI Convicts Another Chance

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dellimore250 Craig Dellimore
Craig Dellimore, political editor for WBBM, joined the station in 1983...
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) – Two of Illinois’ strongest allies in fighting drunken driving were somewhat in disagreement a proposal to give drivers with four drunk driving convictions a chance go get their license back.

WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports the measure would allow Illinois drivers with four DUI convictions to apply for a restricted driving permit 5 years after their license was most recently revoked. First, those drivers would have to prove three years of “uninterrupted sobriety” and complete rehab through a licensed program.

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White said, at first blush, he’s opposed to the plan.

“I believe that if a person has four DUIs, I think they’ve had enough bites at the apple, and I think that when you go beyond that, I think that’s a little bit too much,” he said.

White is open to discussion on the measure, if sufficient safeguards can be included.

Sam Canzoneri, executive director of Mothers Against Drunk Driving in Illinois, said his group supports the proposed legislation, because of the restrictions it would impose.

In addition to proving sobriety, a driver with four previous DUIs could only operate a car with an ignition interlock device, which requires them to blow into a breathalyzer to prove they’re sober before the engine would start.

“We do not want a motorist with four DUI convictions on the road. If a situation presented itself where that was the scenario that we were thrust into, we would want every sanction in place possible,” Canzoneri said. “We’d rather have sanctions and controls in place, and the Secretary of State’s office does a wonderful job implementing those sanctions.”

The House Transportation: Vehicles & Safety Committee voted to back the measure on Wednesday, sending the plan to the full House for debate.

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