The Suspension of Driving Privileges in Illinois DUI Offenses
When you are charged with a DUI, one of the most frustrating parts is dealing with the automatic license suspension that occurs 46 days after the arrest. The license suspension is known as the Statutory Summary Suspension.
The Statutory Summary Suspension can range anywhere from six months to three years, depending upon your circumstances. For “first-offenders”, the range of suspension is six months (if you have consented to the breath, blood, or urine testing and a .08 or higher alcohol concentration level or presence of cannabis or other drug is detected). The license suspension is 12 months if you refuse breath, blood, or urine testing, as requested by the arresting officer.
The Secretary of State defines a “first-offender” as anyone who has not had a DUI disposition or Summary Suspension within five years of the current DUI arrest. The status of “first-offender” can be confusing, since the Secretary of State sends each motorist a “Confirmation of Summary Suspension” which informs the motorist if he/she is eligible for a Monitored Device Driving Permit (MDDP). Only “first-offenders” qualify to drive on a permit during the period of license suspension.
The status of “first-offender” can only be renewed every five years according to the Secretary of State. Therefore, if you have not had a DUI in five years, you may be eligible to apply for first-offender status and participate in the MDDP program during the period of license suspension. If you have had a DUI within five years of your most recent arrest, you will not be treated as a first-offender. However, as far as the prosecutor and the judge are concerned, anyone who has plead guilty or been found guilty of a DUI (even if they received Court Supervision) will be treated as a second (or subsequent offender) for purposes of the criminal charge. A DUI attorney can be infinitely helpful in court for the first and subsequent offender.
For those motorists that the Secretary of State does not consider a “first-offender”, the penalties for consenting to or refusing the breath, blood, or urine testing are considerably more severe. If you are not a first-offender, you agree to the requested testing and your BAC level is .08 or greater (or cannabis/other drug is found in their blood or urine), your license will be suspended for a period of 12 months. If you refuse the requested testing, your license will be suspended for a period of three (3) years. Under both scenarios, there is no eligibility for the Monitored Device Driving Permit, and driving is simply not allowed during the entire period of the suspension.
If you are eligible for the MDDP, you must not drive for the first 30 days of the license suspension. Once the 30 days has passed, and you have satisfied the requirements to have a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) installed in your vehicle, you may drive for the remaining portion of the license suspension without restriction, 24 hours a day. However, it is imperative that you refrain from consuming alcohol (even if under a .08), because the device records every time you blow into it, and reports alcohol levels to the Secretary of State. If the device detects an alcohol amount of .025 or greater, the Secretary of State will send a Notice of Violation and require an explanation for alcohol reading. If the Secretary of State rejects the explanation (medicine, atmospheric contaminants, etc.), they can either extend the period of time in three-month increments, or cancel your permit if there are repeated violations.
Once the period of license suspension has ended and you pay a reinstatement fee to the Secretary of State, you may resume driving, even while on a period of Court Supervision for the DUI charge. For those who are second (or subsequent) offenders, and the sentence is a conviction (i.e. – Conditional Discharge or Probation) on the DUI, the license is revoked and the permit privileges will be cancelled.
Gardi, Haught, Fischer & Bhosale LTD offers experienced counsel for DUI cases. To discuss your circumstance, call us at 847.944.9400 or firstname.lastname@example.org.