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New License Suspension Laws for Illinois Drivers

On Behalf of | Aug 19, 2020 | DUI & Traffic Defense |

Two new laws went into effect on July 1, 2020, that changed the way license suspension works in Illinois. One, dubbed The License to Work Act, builds on laws that went into effect earlier this year. It actually decreases penalties for unpaid fines. The other, called Mason’s Law, increases penalties for crosswalk violations. Illinois drivers must know their rights when it comes to the rules of the road. If you believe these rights have been violated, contact a criminal defense attorney today.

The License to Work Act
If you cannot pay a parking ticket on time, it’s now illegal for the state of Illinois to suspend your license. The act (625 ILCS 5 / 6-209.1) also applies to unpaid tolls, toll evasions, and theft of motor fuel. NPR reported that the Secretary of State’s Office decided drivers should be able to drive to and from their place of employment despite outstanding parking fines. Because it protects a citizen’s right to work, it is called The License to Work Act.

This law is a win for low-income residents who depend on their vehicles to earn a living. Plus, if your license was suspended before the effective date (July 1, 2020) due to any of these violations, you are entitled to have it reinstated. Back in January 2020, Governor J.B. Pritzker reinstated the licenses of 55,000 Illinois drivers.

However, you must have no other serious driving violations on your record. The law doesn’t apply to moving violations, either.

Mason’s Law
Governor Pritzker signed this law back in August of 2019. Effective last month, Illinois drivers who violate the right-of-way at a crosswalk and seriously injure or kill a person will have their license suspended for one year. Crosswalks on public streets and in school zones apply. This comes on top of the fines already in place for such violations. As outlined in 625 ILCS 5/11-1002.5, drivers can expect to pay $150 on their first offense and $300 on any subsequent offenses.

Initially, the word “crosswalk” might sound like the law applies only to pedestrians. In fact, the law is called Mason’s Law in honor of a 24-year-old driver who was killed when a semi truck neglected to stop at a crosswalk. Drivers will face fines and license suspensions whether they cause injury or death to a pedestrian, or to a person inside another vehicle.

There are many factors and variables in play when it comes to motor vehicle violations. If you or someone you know is facing a driving-related charge, contact Richard at Fenbert & Associates today for a free consultation.