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What’s the difference between restricted and limited driving privileges?

On Behalf of | Oct 9, 2023 | Firm News |

If you’re convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Missouri, state officials may place your driving privileges on hold as part of the penalties. Whether your driver’s license is suspended or revoked, you can’t operate any motor vehicle until after a set period.

Once the suspension or revocation period ends, you may start requesting the restoration of your privilege with the state Department of Revenue. But your license won’t be restored completely – you’ll have to obtain either a restricted driving privilege (RDP) or a limited driving privilege (LDP), depending on certain factors.

Restricted driving privilege (RDP)

If it was your first time to face a DWI conviction, officials might suspend your driving privileges for as long as 30 days. You may opt to partially restore it by applying for a restricted driving privilege (RDP). An RDP will allow you to drive again under the condition that you have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed on your car for up to 90 days. An IID will prevent your vehicle from starting unless it can detect from your breath sample that you have a low enough breath alcohol level.

If the IID period ends without incident, you can apply for full license reinstatement after fulfilling requirements such as paying a fee, carrying proof of SR-22 insurance, and completing a substance abuse program.

Limited driving privilege (LDP)

However, if you have prior DWI convictions, officials will revoke your license for a year. Revocation also means you’re automatically ineligible for RDP or immediate license reinstatement, so you’ll have to serve the entire period and then reapply for a new driver’s license.

But if you need to drive for important reasons such as work or lack of transportation, you may be able to apply for limited driving privilege (LDP).

Also known as a “hardship license,” an LDP will allow you to drive, but only in certain pre-approved circumstances (i.e., driving to and from your workplace during certain timeslots, passing through an approved route). If you’ve had more than one alcohol offense, officials might also require you to have an IID installed in your vehicle as part of the LDP.

There are two ways to apply for an LDP. You can apply through the Department of Revenue or file a petition with your local circuit court. If you choose the latter option, be prepared to make your case in court. This might sound intimidating, but you gain the advantage of having legal counsel on your side.

In conclusion, drivers with suspended licenses can apply for RDPs, while drivers with revoked licenses can apply for LDPs – but only if they have important reasons to drive. If officials place your driving privileges on hold due to an alcohol offense, always remember that you have options to restore some of it.