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When the holder of an Illinois driver’s license is convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or receives court supervision. the clerk of the circuit court (for lack of a better term, the clerk serves as the judge’s “secretary”) is supposed to report this disposition (outcome) to the Illinois Secretary of State. 625 ILCS 5/6-204 The Secretary of State then records that disposition to the offender’s driving record. The printed out version of the driving record is known as the driving “abstract”.

The importance of this reporting is twofold. As to DUI court supervision, it is available only once in a person’s lifetime. Furthermore, if the person already has a DUI conviction, supervision is not available even once. If the supervision is not recorded to the driving abstract, the judge and prosecutor are unlikely to realize that a person with a prior supervision or conviction for DUI is not eligible to receive it again.

A DUI conviction results in a revocation of the driver’s license and driving privileges. 625 ILCS 5/6-205 Restoration of those privileges requires a driver’s license hearing.

A failure to report a DUI conviction may lead to driving privileges being incorrectly kept in place, at times for many years. However, there is no “statute of limitations” when it comes to how long the clerk has to report, and the Secretary of State has to act upon, a conviction for DUI.

While this does seem unfair, the Secretary of State takes the position that he is only fallowing the law in that he is required to revoke driving privileges upon being notified of a DUI conviction. His office has however adopted a policy that if the revocation is reported more than two years after the conviction was entered, the person’s eligibility for reinstatement will be calculated as though the conviction had been reported ten days after it occurred.

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Most individuals would be concerned with being convicted of DUI (Driving Under the Influence) because of the fines and other penalties, including the possibility of up to 364 days of county jail time. However, often the most profound impact involves the Illinois DUI driver’s license consequences.

There is a Statutory Summary Suspension (SSS) that lasts at least six months and could run for as long as three years. The latter time period applies if the driver has been in DUI trouble within the previous five years and has, with regard to the pending DUI, refused a chemical test designed to determine the Blood Alcohol Level (BAL). (625 ILCS 5/6-208.1) That is a substantial length of time and under Illinois law, the offender is not allowed to drive for any reason during the entire time period.

Although someone with a DUI in the last five years who takes the test will be suspended and not allowed to drive, the suspension will only last for one year. By contrast, a driver who has been DUI-free for at least five years and who takes a test will incur a suspension for six months and if the driver refuses the test, will be suspended for twelve months.

Those with no offense in the previous five years are entitled to drive during all but the first thirty days of their suspension, provided they agree to install an Interlock Device that will not allow the car to start until they breath into a machine that detects alcohol. This special type of permit is known as a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP).

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One of the most obvious means of being arrested for Driving Under the Influence (also known as DUI, DWI or drunk driving) is to crash the vehicle you are operating into the side of a house in the early morning hours. This is precisely what happened to a man who was arrested for DUI in Galesburg, Knox County, Illinois.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has developed 24 cues to assist law enforcement in detecting possible impaired driving. (See the NHTSA Manual for the Visual Detection of DWI Motorists). NHTSA has broken the cues down into categories.

One category is problems maintaining a proper lane. In that group there would be weaving within a lane, weaving across lane markers, straddling the markers, drifting, swerving, almost striking another vehicle or other fixed object and a wide turn or drifting while going around a curve.

A second set of driving behaviors that suggests impairment includes speed and braking problems. Within this category are stopping too far, too close or too suddenly, slowing down or speeding up for no apparent reason, varying the vehicle’s speed and driving at least 10 MPH under the posted limit.

The third class of cues is referred to generally as vigilance problems. Specifically, this encompasses driving in the oncoming lane or the wrong direction on a one-way street, a slow response to traffic signals, slowness or failure to respond to officer’s signals, stopping in a lane for no obvious reason, driving at night without headlights and failure to signal.

Finally, judgment problems are indicative of impairment according to NHTSA. This includes following too closely, unsafe lane changes, illegal or incorrectly executed turns, driving in an area not designated for vehicles, unusual behavior (arguing, crying, throwing things).

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Illinois DUI law provides that it is illegal to operate a motorized vehicle on the public roadways if the driver is in actual physical control of the vehicle while under the influence. 625 ILCS 5/11-501 Evidence of driving under the influence consists of general observations, such as poor driving, the interaction with the officer while the driver is still seated (eyes that are bloodshot, an odor of alcohol from the breath, slurred speech, difficulty locating insurance card, drivers’ license and registration) and the vehicle exit process, including any stumbling, staggering or balance difficulty.

The police also employ specific “divided activity” tests known as the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST). This sequence of activities, which includes the HGN, the walk and turn and the one legged stand, requires the subject to perform multiple tasks simultaneously. For instance, during the one legged stand, the test taker must hold his leg off the ground six inches, while also looking at the elevated foot and counting from 1 to 30.

The driver will then be asked to submit to a Preliminary Breath Test (PBT). The PBT is a device that is not certified for accuracy the Illinois State Police or subject to any legally recognized regulations. After a user blows into a tube, the PBT device generates a number that estimates the driver’s blood alcohol level (BAL).

The results of the PBT are not admissible in the DUI prosecution itself as evidence of the driver’s BAL. However the arresting officer is authorized to use a BAL of .08 or greater on the PBT in reaching an arrest determination. 625 ILCS 5/11-501.5
After gathering all this information, the officer arrests you for DUI, following which you will be asked to submit to another type of test, either blood or breath, to determine your BAL. These results are gathered using a more precise method and unlike the PBT results, they can be used in the DUI case to prove your BAL. In addition, if you elect not to submit to these tests, your “refusal” can be disclosed to the jury as evidence of a “guilty mind”. People v. Rose, 268 Ill. App. 3d 174, 178, 643 N.E.2d 865, 868 (1994)

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If you are suspected of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Illinois, you have decisions to make. If you have been drinking and or are nervous, you may not make the wisest decisions.

This is an important time because DUI has two different consequences, although they are, somewhat confusingly, related. DUI is a crime that even for a first offense with no aggravating circumstances, is a Class-A misdemeanor, just one step below a felony charge. It is a crime because you can be sent to jail for up to 364 days and you can be fined up to $2,500.00 (625 ILCS 5/11-500)

There is another part to a DUI arrest, which involves not only efforts by the police to gather evidence against you to convict you of DUI but also to get you off the road temporarily while the DUI case is going on in court. The evidence gathering comes in three general forms.

First of all, the police officer, just like any other person, can observe behaviors that suggest intoxication. You will see these described in the police reports as bloodshot, glassy eyes, slurred speech, unsure walking, poor balance, difficult following directions (such as retrieving your driver’s license, registration and insurance card) and other things we all notice about someone whom we suspect is intoxicated.

The officer will additionally have the benefit, in many cases. of observing your driving behavior. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has developed a list of driving-related actions that are indicative of alcohol impairment. The most common is a wide turn.

The police also use specific NHTSA-approved tests that they will testify help determine if your BAC level is .08, which in Illinois is the legal limit. These tests are known as the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST). There are three of them.

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Regardless of the situation, an arrest for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Illinois must be treated seriously. Illinois DUI law provides that even a “plain vanilla” (no accident, valid driver’s license, insurance in place, not in a school zone, no other aggravating factors) DUI is a crime that is punishable by jail time of as much as 364 days and a fine that can reach $2,500.00. (625 ILCS 5/11-500)

Furthermore, a DUI arrest carries with it driver’s license consequences. A conviction means an automatic revocation of your driver’s license. (625 ILCS 5/6-205)

When your driver’s license is revoked, before you can obtain full restoration of driving privileges, you must submit yourself to an administrative hearing with the Illinois Secretary of State. In that hearing, you are required to prove that you can be a safe and responsible driver.

At a minimum, you must provide the Secretary of State with a Uniform Drug and Alcohol Evaluation. If the Uniform evaluation is more than six months’ old at the time of your hearing, you must also provide the Secretary of State with an updated evaluation on a form that his office has developed for that purpose. All those documents must be completed by an agency licensed by the Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse (DASA).

The agency that conducts the evaluation will, using DASA guidelines, determine what treatment or other intervention will be necessary for moving forward with your administrative hearing. The DASA guidelines provide for certain minimum classes following a DUI offense.

If this is the first time you have ever been arrested for DUI, in Illinois or any other state, and if you took a breath or blood test and your blood alcohol level (BAL) was .15 or less and you have no abuse or dependency symptoms, your classification would be minimum risk. As such, you would be required to complete a 10-hour course known as Driver Risk Education (DRE).

It is rare that a minimal risk individual is required to have a hearing with the Secretary of State. In most situations, a minimal risk offender would be granted court supervision.

This disposition does not result in a conviction. (730 ILCS 5/5-6-3.1(f)) As such, that person avoids a driver’s license revocation.

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Most drivers recognize that it is illegal, in all 50 states, to commit the offense of Driving Under the Influence, commonly referred to as DUI. 625 ILCS 5/11-501 This offense occurs when there is specific evidence of impaired driving caused by alcohol. However, it can also apply if there is proof that the driver had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 8% alcohol per 210 liters of breath or 8% alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood. 625 ILCS 5/11-501.2

DUI is a crime because if the state can prove the driver guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, the driver faces a fine of up to $2,500 and up to 364 days in jail upon being convicted of a first offense in which there are no aggravating factors. Furthermore, a conviction will lead to an automatic termination of the offender’s driver’s license and driving privileges. Those privileges, once revoked, can only be restored through a driver’s license hearing with the Illinois Secretary of State.

There are waiting periods before a driver can apply for restoration of full driving privileges. The waiting periods are longer the more DUI and driving while revoked or suspended offenses the driver has on his or her record and are also lengthened if the driver is offered a breath or blood test and declines to take it.

In some circumstances, the driver may apply for a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP) while the revocation is in effect. If the driver has not had a DUI charge in the previous five years, he or she may apply to the Secretary of State for an RDP thirty days after the revocation begins, unless the driver is under 21 or unless this is the second conviction for DUI. In either of those cases, there is a one-year waiting period.

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In Illinois, the clerk of the circuit court serves, for the most part, as the record keeper for the judges. The circuit clerk should not be confused with the county clerk, who maintains, among other things, voting records, birth and death certificate and other personal information.

As far as an Illinois DUI is concerned, a critical function of the circuit clerks is to report DUI convictions to the Illinois Secretary of State. 625 ILCS 5/6-204 Once the Secretary of State is notified of a DUI outcome, his job is to record it to the driver’s Illinois driving record, which is known as a driving “abstract”.

At this point, one caveat is appropriate. The clerk does not report dismissed tickets to the Secretary of State. So if for instance you are charged with speeding and you successfully contest the ticket, either by being found not guilty or persuading the judge to dismiss the charge without a trial, the Secretary of State would have no record of your ever being charged.

The situation can be different with a DUI charge. That’s because when you are arrested for possible DUI, there are two tracks to the case.

You will be charged with DUI, which is a criminal offense, meaning that you can be sent to jail and or be fined. The lowest level of DUI charge can result in a fine of up to $2,500 or 364 days in the county jail, or both.

If the DUI charge is dismissed, the fact you were charged will not show up on your abstract. However, when you are arrested for DUI, you may also incur a driver’ license suspension in connection with the outcome of the request by the police officer that you submit to a chemical test, either of your breath or blood. 625 ILCS 5/11-501.2
If there is a test and the results are at least .08 or if you are asked to test and refuse, your license will be suspended for a period of time that ranges from 6 months to 3 years. This suspension is called a “statutory summary suspension” or SSS.

The SSS is automatic unless you obtain a court order that rescinds (removes) it from your record. Absent this rescission, the SSS stays in effect even if the DUI is thrown out.

That is due to the fact that the SSS is an administrative sanction (it only impairs your license, not your money or freedom and it’s only temporary) so the state does not have to prove you guilty of the DUI. The mere fact you had a .08 or higher or refused to blow is all they need.

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Indian reservations enjoy some autonomy from the state in which they are located. They have their own judicial system. However, one of the legal obligations with which they are supposed to comply is in the enforcement of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) laws, as well as reporting convictions that result. Five reservations in Montana have not been reporting DUI convictions that occur on their lands.

Many states, including Illinois, base criminal sentences upon a driver’s record. In Illinois, a driver who has never been convicted of DUI is eligible for court supervision. 730 ILCS 5/5-6-1
However, any prior supervision, a prior DUI conviction, including an out of state offense, any reckless driving conviction that was the result of a plea bargain, and any statutory summary or implied consent suspension, unless the driver took a breath test and registered .08 or higher and was found not guilty of the DUI, would disqualify the driver from being eligible for supervision. It stands to reason that if a DUI conviction is not reported to the state, someone who was not legally eligible for supervision due to a prior conviction could still receive it.

Supervision is important for two reasons. First, a supervision disposition cannot include jail time. Second, supervision is not a conviction for purposes of base driving privileges (the rules are different for CDL holders). While a conviction results in an automatic revocation of driving privileges and the need for a formal hearing with the Illinois Secretary of State (625 ILCS 5/6-205), supervision avoids a conviction.

The number of DUI convictions and summary suspensions is critical in other areas of Illinois DUI law. At the time of a DUI arrest, the driver will be asked to submit to chemical testing, either breath or blood, to determine the blood alcohol level (BAL).

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In all likelihood, the vast majority of police officers are honest people trying to do their jobs. They may have a different take as far as the specifics of a particular arrest for DUI are concerned and sometimes they may be mistaken. But for the most part, they call it as they see it.

Unfortunately, on occasion, a police officer appears to be predisposed to making a DUI arrest when none is justified. This may occur due to past encounters between the accused and the officer, a long standing personal history, racial animus or any of the other reasons that some people in power abuse it.

There are numerous opportunities for a dishonest cop to exaggerate, distort and even fabricate evidence and observations. In many cases, it comes down to the word of the accused versus the officer.

The officer has two advantages: First of all, he carries a badge. The other is that he, unlike the person arrested, the assumption is that he has no dog in the hunt, in other words, he is neutral.

Close examination of a DUI arrest shows the stages at which evidence is gathered and can be manipulated. The police must have some reason to come into contact with a driver in the first place, unless there is a roadblock/safety check, in which case specific safeguards must be in place in terms of the timing and execution of the roadblock.

Police may also stop a driver based upon an anonymous tip provided they can prove to the judge that the tipster was “reliable”. People. v. Hansen, 2012 Il. App (4th) 110603 Another encounter can occur when the police are executing a “community caretaker function” such as helping a driver with a flat tire.

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