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DUI offenses from other states will be a problem at an administrative driver’s license hearing

A conviction for Driving Under the Influence, or DUI, results in a mandatory revocation of your driver’s license under Illinois law. (625 ILCS 5/6-208) For a first conviction, the revocation is for a year. For a second conviction, five years. A third conviction will lead to a revocation of ten years. And a fourth one causes a lifetime revocation.

A revocation is different from a suspension.  A suspension is a temporary hold on your driver’s license and it ends after a specified period of time. A revocation means that your license and your right to drive in Illinois cease to exist. Restoration of those privileges requires an administrative hearing with the Secretary of State.  (625 ILCS 5/6-205)

Court supervision does not count as a conviction and thus avoids a driver’s license revocation.  However, a driver’s license suspension, known as a Statutory Summary Suspension (SSS), will apply even if the you receive court supervision or the DUI is dismissed.  The mere fact that you either refused the breath or blood test or registered .08 or higher is sufficient to impose the SSS unless the judge rescinds the SSS on the basis of one of the grounds set forth in the SSS law. (625 ILCS 5/2-118.1)

During the SSS, a driver who has not had a DUI in the prior five years is eligible to apply for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP) during all but the first thirty days of the suspension.  The MDDP is automatic and while it requires filing forms with the Secretary of State, no hearing is required. (625 ILCS 5/6-206.1) No MDDP is not available if you have had a DUI in the previous five years.

If you are convicted of the DUI, you do not have to wait until the one, five or ten-year revocation ends to apply for a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP) through the Secretary of State. That permit, if granted, would allow you to drive for limited purposes during restricted hours, days and distances.

However, if you are revoked for five years (two convictions) or ten years (three convictions), you have to wait a year to apply for an RDP.  And if you are not eligible for an MDDP because you have had a DUI in the  previous five years, you cannot request an RDP during the SSS regardless of the status of your revocation. (625 ILCS 5/6-205)

When you receive an out-of-state DUI while holding an Illinois license or while being an Illinois resident, it may affect your Illinois driving privileges or your driver’s license hearing in several different respects. Most states are members of the Interstate Driver’s License Compact (Compact)

The Compact is an agreement among the member states to report to the licensing state any traffic infractions that occur in the member state. Interestingly, some member states do not report the convictions as the Compact requires and some non member states do report even though they are not part of the Compact. (Illinois is a Compact member).

If another state reports a DUI conviction to Illinois, Illinois will treat it just as it would an Illinois DUI in terms of drive’s license consequences (but not criminal consequences since the crime was committed in another state). Thus, your driver’s license will be revoked.

Furthermore, without regard to the outcome of the out-of-state DUI, if you refuse the breath test and the state where the refusal occurred reports the refusal to Illinois, your driver’s license will be suspended for the same amount of time as if you had refused the test in Illinois. (625 ILCS 5/6-203.1)  If you take the test, there will be no suspension regardless of the results.

Moreover, even if an out-of-state DUI is not reported directly to Illinois, if you apply for a driver’s license, whether after a revocation, or as a new resident or to renew a current license, Illinois will run a nationwide search, known as a Problem Driver Pointer System (PDPS) for any DUI convictions, refusals or per se implied consent suspensions. Those PDPS hits then become a factor at your hearing. If you are merely renewing your license or are a new resident, the out of state DUI will block you unless you have taken the required steps in the member state to clear up the DUI.