When you have an Illinois DUI (Driving Under Influence), you face two different possible consequences, a suspension of your driver’s license, as well as fines, jail time and a revocation of your driver’s license.
The driver’s license suspension occurs because you either took a breath or blood test and registered .08 or higher, or you declined to submit to such testing upon request. In the first case, your driver’s license would be suspended for 6 months if you have not had a previous DUI arrest for the last 5 years and 12 months if you have had an arrest within the past 5 years.
If you did not agree to testing, your license would be suspended for 1 year if you have not had a DUI in the last 5 years. If you have had a DUI in the previous 5 years, you will suffer a suspension of 3 years. All the rules for breath test suspensions are in 625 ILCS 5/6-208.1
A DUI-related suspension (at times referred to as an “implied consent suspension”) is a temporary license sanction imposed for a definite period of time. Once that time elapses, you are automatically free to drive upon payment of the appropriate fee, provided driving privileges are not invalid for some other reason. 625 ILCS 5/1-204
The other challenge you face relates to the criminal charges associated with the DUI arrest. Here, you can be required to pay fines and or serve jail time. In addition, with a conviction, your driver’s license will be revoked. 625 ILCS 5/6-205(a)(2)
A DUI-related revocation is the withdrawal of driving privileges for a period of 1, 5 or 10 years following a conviction. 625 ILCS 5/1-176 At the end of that period, restoration of an offender’s driving privileges is not automatic. Rather, it is contingent upon a successful hearing with the Illinois Secretary of State, Illinois’ licensing authority. 625 ILCS 5/2-118; 5/6-208
You be have heard about people who are arrested for DUI and driving on a suspended or revoked license. The suspension occurs 46 days after the police serve you with notice of a statutory summary suspension.
This typically happens at the time of the arrest. However, sometimes, particularly when blood is drawn at a hospital after an accident, it be come later, once the lab test results come back, which in Illinois can take several months.
The point is, the suspension is ordinarily in effect fairly quickly after the arrest, sometimes before the first court date. Once the suspension takes effect, if you are caught driving, two bad things can happen if you are convicted of driving on a suspended license.
First, the Secretary of State will automatically double the original suspension (6 months, 12 months or 3 years). 625 ILCS 5/6-303 This can, if you have gone less than 5 years between DUI arrests, cause a license suspension for as long as 6 years. During that time, you cannot apply for an RDP or an MDDP.
Although you may be eligible for the MDDP as someone who has not had a DUI in the last 5 years, you are not required to accept the program and install a BAIID device on your vehicle. However, if you do not accept the program and are caught driving, or if you accept the program and are caught driving without a BAIID machine, you face a class 4 felony.
Once your suspension is over, you may resume driving unless you are convicted of DUI, in which case your driver’s license will be revoked. If you are caught driving on a revoked license, and if you are convicted, the first time, it is an automatic minimum 10 days in jail that must be served consecutively, or you must perform public service hours. Repeat offenses of driving revoked due to a DUI conviction can ultimately lead to a Class-X felony, the highest level of felony in Illinois.
Furthermore, each time you are convicted of driving revoked, the Illinois Secretary of State automatically adds another year to your revocation. Finally, if you are revoked for DUI and you receive another DUI during that time, it is a felony. The law seeks to discourage suspended or revoked drivers from driving.