Tougher penalties for abusing disability plates coming soon - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Tougher penalties for abusing disability plates coming soon

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UNDATED (WREX) -

Illinois residents who abuse a deceased person's or disability license plate will face tougher penalties in the new year.

Public Act 97-844 goes into effect on January 1 and increases the penalties for individuals who abuse disability parking placards or plates assigned to someone that has passed. Now, that crime is considered a Class A Misdemeanor, and carries a minimum one-year driver's license revocation and a $2,500 fine.

"The message we are sending is simple: if you don't belong there, don't park there," Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White said. "These stronger penalties will hopefully make people think twice before they deprive a person with a disability from using a disability parking spot."

The period of license suspension for general misuse of a disability placard or plate has also been extended from 30 days to a six-month suspension for first offenses; from six months to a one-year suspension for a second offense and a fine increase from $750 to $1,000; and from a one-year suspension to a minimum one-year revocation  for a third offense.

Those who have their licenses revoked, must meet with a Secretary of State Administrative Hearing Officer at the end of the revocation period before they can restore their driving privileges.

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