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Driver’s License Reinstatement Fact Sheet

If you are arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in the State of Illinois, you immediately have two cases. One involves the criminal case (jail, fines, probation etc). The other involves the driver’s license.

Your driver’s license will be suspended for a period of time, anywhere from 6 months to 3 years, depending upon your driving record and whether or not you agreed to provide a breath or blood sample to the police. If you have not had a DUI arrest in the previous 5 years, you are a “first offender”. As such, your driver’s license will be suspended for 6 months if you submit to testing and 12 months if you refuse to submit to testing.

If you have had a DUI arrest in the previous 5 years, you are not a first offender. You will be suspended for 1 year if you submit to testing and 3 years if you refuse testing.

A non first offender is not entitled to any sort of driving privileges. You will not be able to drive for the entire suspension period, be that 1 year or 3 years.

A first offender can, after the first 30 days of a suspension, receive a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP). If you want one, it will cost you, both in fees to the state and to the facility that installs and monitors the breath testing device installed in your ignition system (BAIID). However, with an MDDP, you can drive anywhere, at any time, for any reason.

A suspension has an automatic ending date. When that date comes, you simple pay a fee and your driving privileges will be restored. The bigger problem arises if you are ultimately convicted of the DUI charge. Now your license is revoked for 1 year, 5 years or 10 years, depending upon whether you have any previous DUI convictions on your record.


But unlike a suspension, the revocation does not end automatically. Instead, you must have a driver’s license hearing with the llinois Secretary of State.

If you are a non first offender, you cannot have such a hearing until your suspension (for blowing over the limit or refusing to blow) has ended. If you are first offender, the conviction cancels your MDDP but you are then eligible for a Secretary of State driver’s license hearing.

If the Secretary of State issues you a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP, work permit, hardship license), it will only allow you to driver for very specific reasons (to and from work and on the job, to and free AA meetings, for medical appointments or for daycare). In addition, the hours and distances you can drive are restricted. You will probably having to have a BAIID machine, depending upon your driving record.