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Indianapolis Criminal Attorney
John "Jack" Razumich
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Andrew Redd
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What Are the Responsibilities of Having an Indiana Hardship License?

If an Indiana court or DMV has suspended your drivers’ license–for a DUI or other driving-related reason–you’re probably worried about how you’ll take care of your daily obligations without your vehicle. Fortunately, under Indiana law 9-30-16, you may be eligible to obtain a specialized license (formerly called a “hardship license”) that will allow you limited driving privileges during the period of suspension.

Most people who have had their driver’s license suspended or who have a pending suspension will be eligible to apply for this specialized license. However, you are automatically ineligible to apply if:

  • you are not an Indiana resident,
  • your license has been suspended for refusing to take a chemical test for DUI suspicion,
  • you were convicted of vehicular manslaughter, or,
  • you had specialized driving privileges previously and violated the conditions.

Commercial drivers are also disqualified from applying for the license.

A specialized license generally allows people to drive to essential places, such as a job, a child’s school, or a place of worship. It may also limit your driving privileges to specific periods of the day and for a particular purpose.

Drivers who face suspension for a DUI/OWI may also have to install an ignition interlock device on their cars. This device is a handheld breathalyzer that measures the level of alcohol in a person’s breath. The user cannot start the vehicle unless the amount of alcohol in the breath is below the state limit.

Driver Responsibilities Under the Hardship License

If a court grants an order for a specialized driver’s license, Indiana law requires you to observe certain conditions. Specifically, you must:

  • adhere to the terms of the order
  • keep a copy of the order granting limited driving privileges in the vehicle or carry it on their person
  • produce the copy of the order granting specialized driving privileges upon the request of a police officer
  • carry a validly issued state identification card or driver’s license
  • maintain vehicle insurance.

Specialized driving privileges usually last at least six months.

What happens if you violate the order?

If you knowingly violate the specialized license conditions, the court may modify or revoke the license and will reinstate the original suspension.

If your Indiana driver’s license has been suspended due a DUI/OWI or another driving-related offense and you need a specialized driver’s license, you should contact an experienced Indiana DUI/OWI attorney today. We can help you get back on the road as soon as possible.

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