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Tougher penalties coming for disabled parking abusers

Updated: January 29, 2013 6:20AM

CHICAGO — A new law cracking down on abuse of the disability parking program takes effect Jan. 1, including bigger fines for those who abuse a deceased person’s placard or plate.

The law toughens penalties for those who abuse parking privileges designed to assist the disabled, according to the Illinois Secretary of State’s office.

Using a placard and/or disability license plates registered to a deceased person becomes a Class A misdemeanor, carrying a minimum one-year driver’s license revocation and $2,500 fine.

“The message we are sending is simple: If you don’t belong there, don’t park there,” 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.”

In addition, the license suspension periods for general misuse of a disability plate or placard will increase from 30 days to six months for a first offense; from six months to a one year for a second offense with a fine of $1,000; and from a year to a minimum of on-year for a third offense.

A license revocation requires the offender to meet with a an administrative hearing officer before driving privileges are restored, officials said.

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