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Five Montana Indian reservations do not report DUI convictions to the State

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).


A refusal of testing or a BAL over .08 results in the driver’s license being put temporarily on hold, which is known as a suspension. A suspension with a previous DUI within the last five years is longer, either a year or three years, the longer period being imposed for a refusal. During the entire suspension, all driving privileges, even for work, are blocked.

Prior DUI offenses can also elevate what is normally a misdemeanor into a felony. A third DUI violation is a felony. Subsequent violations result in escalating felony penalties.

DUI dispositions are also important in determining how many hours of classes will be required. The minimum ten hours is only available if there are no previous DUI offenses and there is a breath test with a result below .15.

A first time DUI with no breath test or a test between .15 and .19 creates the need for ten hours of drunk driving prevention and 12 hours of alcohol counseling.

Two DUI offenses requires the ten hour course and 20 hours of alcohol counseling and any aftercare found necessary. If there are three DUI offenses in ten years, the offender must complete 75 hours of classes.

Related posts:

Special requirements in Illinois for DUI court supervision Illinois DUI Lawyer Blawg, April 19, 2013
What is an Illinois Alcohol and Drug Evaluation? Illinois DUI Lawyer Blawg, September 14, 2012