It is well known that Illinois will revoke or suspend your driver's license for Driving Under the Influence (DUI, DWI) convictions. Whether you will be suspended or revoked depends upon the particular situation of your case, as does the length of the suspension or revocation.
DUI convictions can result in minimum revocation periods of 1, 5 or 10 years. Refusing to provide a breath or blood sample at the time of a DUI arrest, or providing a sample of .08 or greater, will result in a suspension of anywhere from 6 months to 3 years, depending upon your overall driving record.
A suspension is less serious than a revocation. At the end of the suspension period, the Illinois Secretary of State will restore your driving privileges without a hearing, provided your license is not suspended or revoked for some other cause.
If you commit a violation that causes a revocation of your driver's license, you must have a driver's license hearing in order to gain some sort of driving privileges, whether that be full reinstatement or a restricted driving permit (RDP). The hearing procedures are quite drawn out and unfriendly if you do not know what you are doing.
DUI is not the only way you can lose your driver's license to a suspension or revocation. Some of the offenses for which the Secretary of State may take away your driving privileges come as a rude surprise to many.
Illinois law lists 45 non-DUI ways under which your license can be suspended. Most people are aware of the common ones, such as too many tickets, too many accidents driving on an expired license and passing a stopped school bus. But your license will also be suspended if you are under 21 and receive a ticket for under aged drinking, for having a fake ID or for having an open container in your vehicle.
Your driver's license will be revoked if you are convicted of reckless homicide, leaving the scene of an accident in which there was death or serious personal injury (a 3 year revocation), vehicle theft, any felony in which a motor vehicle was used, 3 or more reckless driving convictions, aggravated fleeing or eluding and drag racing.
Before you plead guilty to an offense, you must understand the consequences of that plea. When it comes to your driver's license, you should consult a DUI and traffic lawyer.