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DUI pled down to reckless driving versus supervision

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).


A suspension ends automatically. On the other hand, if the DUI charge results in a conviction, the driver will face a revocation.

A revocation results in termination of all driving privileges. (625 ILCS 5/6-205) A revoked driver must have an administrative hearing with the Illinois Secretary of State in order to be allowed to drive again legally.

At such a hearing, the applicant must submit a drug and alcohol evaluation Uniform Report, an update if the Uniform Report is more than six months’ old and provide proof of completion of any intervention requirements, such as driver risk education and treatment. Moreover, those offenders classified as alcohol dependent are required to prove at least twelve consecutive months’ of abstinence and evidence of a support program such as Alcoholic Anonymous (AA).

A DUI revocation requires a conviction. Under Illinois law, a conviction has a specific meaning. The defendant must be found guilty and the court must enter a conviction on the defendant’s record.

Supervision is a special sentence in which the defendant is found or pleads guilty but a conviction is not entered immediately. Upon a subsequent successful completion of all the supervision requirements, the case is resolved without the conviction ever being entered. Therefore, in the context of a DUI charge, the offender’s driver’s license is not revoked (even though it may be suspended due to the breath test issues discussed earlier).

DUI supervision is only available once in a driver’s lifetime and is never available if the defendant has been previously convicted of DUI. Thus, in those cases, a defendant may seek to obtain a conviction for reckless driving in order to avoid a driver’s license revocation. However, reckless driving can be hard to obtain if the state feels it has a strong case against the accused. This can leave a violator who is not eligible for supervision facing a driver’s license revocation.

Related posts:

Recent Revisions to Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP) April 8 2011, Illinois DUI Lawyer Blawg
Reinstating Illinois driver’s license due to DUI does not always require Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) January 4 2010, Illinois DUI Lawyer Blawg