It looks like the Illinois General Assembly will pass a bill to allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses. As an attorney who practices in the traffic courts throughout the Chicagoland area, all I can say is that it is about time. I cannot tell you how many times I have had to represent regular people who are just trying to get to work or school in criminal courts. Over and over again I have seen these people have to pay huge amount of money or spend time in jail, all because they were trying to support their family by driving to work everyday.
It will also be safer for the rest of us motorists now that these drivers will be licensed, because they will have to pass the driving and written test. They will also now be able to obtain insurance, so if you get into an accident with one of these motorists you or your insurance company will no longer be stuck with the bill.
This law will also greatly impact DUI law, because in Illinois if you receive a DUI and you do not have a driver’s license you will be charged with a Class 4 felony. Normally a person charged with their first DUI would be charged with a misdemeanor. Thus, this new driver’s licensing law will reduce the amount of people becoming convicted felons for their first DUI offense.