This question could mean two different things, depending on how you view it. The first is: how do you get your license reinstated after serving the full term of your suspension? The second is: how do you get driving privileges after you have been given a suspension but before you have served the full term? I will explain both.
Reinstatement After Serving a 5- or 10-Year Denial
You must petition the circuit court of the county where your last drug- or alcohol-related driving conviction occurred after you have served your 5- or 10-year suspension to get your license back. This is technically a civil suit against the Missouri Department of Revenue as they are the authority that suspended your license. You will be granted an in-person hearing before a judge to determine if your license should be reinstated.
Unfortunately, these hearings are not just a formality. The judge will need to be convinced that your habits and conduct since your conviction show that you no longer reasonably pose a threat to the public safety of the state. It is a very good idea to have a lawyer with experience handling reinstatements in that court or, preferably, in front of that judge by your side to explain the best way to approach the hearing. There are several other steps you must take before your license is reinstated.
You will need to submit to a criminal history check using the Missouri Automated Criminal History Site. Part of this process includes submitting fingerprints. This is done to ensure you did not have any further drug- or alcohol-related offenses during your suspension period, which would be disqualifying. The process can take up to a month.
If you have not done so already, you will need to complete the Substance Awareness Traffic Offender Program (SATOP). This program offers education, counseling, and treatment to anyone arrested for a drug- or alcohol-related traffic offense in Missouri. There is a $375 assessment fee and further fees depending on which level you qualify for.
You must maintain an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) with a camera for six months after your license is reinstated. The judge may also order that the IID have GPS tracking installed. An IID is a device you must blow into for a breath sample. If the IID registers any alcohol, you will not be allowed to start the car. It also takes samples while you are driving and records positive results.
You will not be able to get your reinstatement if you have any active out-of-state suspensions or revocations on the National Driver Register. If your license has expired while you were suspended, you will need to re-test. An experienced lawyer will know to get a court order for re-testing to speed up the process.
License reinstatement after serving a 5- or 10-year denial is not a simple process. Most people, understandably, want things to go as quickly as possible. The way to make this happen is to hire an experienced attorney who has successfully completed many reinstatements. Attorney Ruth Beerup prides herself on having her clients thoroughly prepared for court, ready to get back on the road as soon as possible. Give her a call at 636-940-1111 to get started.
Limited Driving Privilege While Serving a 5- or 10-Year Denial
To get an LDP when you are serving a 5- or 10-year denial, you must petition the court in the county where you live or work. You will need to convince the court that you have changed the habits and conduct that led to the denial to the extent that you no longer pose a threat to the public safety of the state. You will also need to show that you have no felony convictions involving a motor vehicle in the past five years, no law enforcement alcohol contacts since the one that led to the denial, no unpaid traffic tickets or fines, no unpaid judgments for accidents, and that you have served your 45- or 90-day “hard walk” suspension. In some instances, a person who is not eligible for an LDP through a court petition may be able to attend a DWI court program to obtain one.
If you are granted the LDP, you must install an Ignition Interlock Device with a camera and a GPS in your vehicle and maintain an SR-22 Proof of Financial Responsibility (insurance). You must also avoid accumulating any points on your license, as that will end the limited driving privilege. Getting and maintaining a limited driving privilege is not easy. In fact, the Department of Revenue website suggests that you seek the assistance of an attorney when filing your petition. St. Charles-based criminal defense attorney Ruth Beerup has decades of experience dealing with license reinstatements and limited driving privilege petitions. Give her a call or text if you have any questions or want to get the process started.
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