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.
The offense of DUI applies throughout the State of Illinois. Thus, it is illegal to be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle even on wholly private property.
A driver who is arrested for DUI will be asked to provide a breath or blood sample to determine if the 8% level applies. In most situations, the driver has the right to refuse.
But whether the driver refuses or submits to testing that discloses a BAC of 8% or higher, a Statutory Summary Suspension (SSS) will result. A suspension is a temporary withdrawal of driving privileges.
Once the suspension ends, the driver automatically receives driving privileges (after paying a fee), without a hearing, provided his or her license is not suspended or revoked for some other reason, such as being convicted of the DUI. During all but the first thirty days of the suspension, a driver who has not had a DUI in the previous five years is entitled to drive during the suspension, for any reason, at any time, by obtaining a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP).
The MDDP applies only if the driver agrees to install an Interlock device, at the driver’s expense. This device requires the driver to blow into a tube in order to start the vehicle and keep it operating. Those who have had a DUI in the prior five years are not entitled to drive during the suspension. In some cases, a driver can secure dismissal of a DUI but still not be allowed to drive because the SSS is still in effect and the driver is not eligible for an MDDP.
The SSS laws do not apply to purely private property. However, the fact that property is privately owned does not mean the SSS laws do not apply. The test is whether or not the property is accessible to the general public.
Recent Revisions to Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP) Illinois DUI Lawyer Blawg, April 8, 2011
What is the difference in Illinois between a suspended and revoked driver’s license? Illinois DUI Lawyer Blawg, November 2, 2012