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Not having a driver’s license can be a serious problem, especially in cities that do not have good public transit systems.

After a DUI conviction that results in losing your license, you may find yourself wondering how you’ll get around: how you’ll get to work, or take your kids to school, or even make it to those community service activities.

Fortunately, you may have an option available: a restricted license. While a restricted license won’t give you perfect freedom to drive anywhere you like after a DUI, it will provide you with the means to take care of those important responsibilities you just can’t handle without a car.

What is a Restricted License?

A restricted license is a temporary license you may be eligible for after you lose your license due to a DUI. Depending on your state’s laws, you may need to attend a separate DMV hearing to request a restricted license. A restricted license allows you to continue to operate your vehicle under very specific circumstances even though you do not legally have your driver’s license. Generally, restricted licenses are granted only after a first-time license suspension for DUI. However, in some cases, you may still apply for a restricted license even with more than one DUI on your record.

What Does a Restricted License Restrict?

A restricted driver’s license, by its name and nature, imposes restrictions on the driver that do not apply to a normal license. The restrictions will vary based on the severity of your DUI offense and your jurisdiction, but may include:

Restrictions on where you can travel

Some restricted licenses will allow you to take care of specific tasks — driving your kids to school or to a former spouse’s home for a custody swap, going to work, attending classes, going to court-mandated activities, including community service, court hearings, or alcohol treatment facilities.

A restricted driver’s license will also allow you to operate your vehicle to pick up prescriptions for yourself or a family member in your care, or to seek medical care if needed.

In addition to restricting where you can go while driving, the restricted license may also restrict the routes you can take. In some areas, a restricted license may prevent you from driving in certain areas of town or require you to take a certain route to reach your destination.

Restrictions on when you can travel

Your restricted driver’s license may prevent you from traveling at certain times of the day. Your license may prevent you from driving after midnight, for example, unless there is a medical emergency that needs immediate attention.

Using an ignition interlock device

Many restricted licenses come with a core provision: you must install an ignition interlock device on any vehicle you plan to drive. This may include any family vehicles or vehicles registered to your address.

The ignition interlock device takes a breath sample before you can start the car. If you have alcohol on your breath, the device will prevent you from starting the car and heading out on the road while intoxicated. Modern ignition interlock devices may also require rolling retests: that is, they will require you to retest the alcohol on your breath as you drive, preventing you from drinking while driving or having a sober friend start the car for you.

Driving on a restricted license can help you get back on the road — and help you take care of many of your important responsibilities — after a DUI. If you need to learn more about ignition interlock devices or how Draeger Interlock can help you get back on the road as soon as possible after your DUI, contact us today to learn more about our services.

*Links to any third-party websites herein are provided for your reference and convenience only. Dräger did not create nor develop and does not own, any such third-party websites. Dräger does not endorse nor support the content of, nor any opinions stated in any such third-party website links. Dräger is not responsible for the content of any third-party website or its accuracy or reliability. Nothing contained in this article or in any such third-party website shall be considered legal advice or be deemed to constitute legal advice. For any legal advice concerning a DUI arrest, charge, conviction or consequences thereof, you should contact an attorney of your choice.