SPRINGFIELD -- There's a new push to ease the rules for some repeat DUI offenders. Currently, if you get four, you lose your license for life. Now, one lawmaker wants to change that. WCIA-3's Ashley Michels keeps us Connected to the Capitol.
The idea is for some to earn their driving privileges back. One man says, after going to prison and losing his license, he's turned his life around and deserves a second chance.
"My life was consumed by drugs and alcohol. I was definitely an alcoholic. I didn't really care."
That lifestyle eventually caught up with Michael Geever.
"By the time I was 26, I had 3 DUI's. My life was spiraling downward. Ten years later, I got my fourth DUI. It was a felony. I went to prison."
He says that slap of reality forced him to make a change. Now sober, he helps others through AA. But, current state law bars him from ever getting behind the wheel again. It's something Geever says makes his recovery bittersweet.
"You're stuck in a dead-end job. A better one opens up, but it's ten miles away and you can't get to it. It's just crippling. You're doing all the right things, but there's no light at the end of the tunnel."
That's why Geever is pushing for a restricted drivers license program where "four-peat" offenders could earn back driving rights to go to work, school or the doctor, if they can prove they're no longer a danger.
Critics worry offenders will relapse or lie. But, even some of the biggest road safety advocates say the law could use some work.
"I've made my fair share of drunk driving arrests. I'm very aware of the importance of trying to eradicate drunk driving. But, at the same time, we have to recognize those who have overcome their disease and continue to be productive members of society. It's not a full return of a drivers license, but it gives them some hope; some independence."
The bill is still in its early stages, but if it becomes law, offenders would have to wait five years to apply for the permit and show proof they've been sober at least three years. They would also have to have a Breathalyzer installed in their car.
ILLINOIS -- State Representative Elaine Nekritz, (D-Northbrook) wants to give a second chance to drivers caught with several DUI's. Currently, if a driver is convicted of drunk driving four times, his or her license is suspended.
A new bill would let them apply for a restricted driving permit five years after their last DUI conviction. The driver would have to show evidence he or she has been sober at least three years.
Critics say repeat DUI offenders shouldn't be allowed back on the road.
Copyright 2015 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.