Articles Posted in Driver’s License Reinstatement

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When the holder of an Illinois driver’s license is convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or receives court supervision. the clerk of the circuit court (for lack of a better term, the clerk serves as the judge’s “secretary”) is supposed to report this disposition (outcome) to the Illinois Secretary of State. 625 ILCS 5/6-204 The Secretary of State then records that disposition to the offender’s driving record. The printed out version of the driving record is known as the driving “abstract”.

The importance of this reporting is twofold. As to DUI court supervision, it is available only once in a person’s lifetime. Furthermore, if the person already has a DUI conviction, supervision is not available even once. If the supervision is not recorded to the driving abstract, the judge and prosecutor are unlikely to realize that a person with a prior supervision or conviction for DUI is not eligible to receive it again.

A DUI conviction results in a revocation of the driver’s license and driving privileges. 625 ILCS 5/6-205 Restoration of those privileges requires a driver’s license hearing.

A failure to report a DUI conviction may lead to driving privileges being incorrectly kept in place, at times for many years. However, there is no “statute of limitations” when it comes to how long the clerk has to report, and the Secretary of State has to act upon, a conviction for DUI.

While this does seem unfair, the Secretary of State takes the position that he is only fallowing the law in that he is required to revoke driving privileges upon being notified of a DUI conviction. His office has however adopted a policy that if the revocation is reported more than two years after the conviction was entered, the person’s eligibility for reinstatement will be calculated as though the conviction had been reported ten days after it occurred.

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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).

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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).

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A suburban Chicago woman was arrested for Driving Under the Influence, also known as DUI, DWI or drunk driving. She was just coming off a previous DUI and told police she out celebrating the fact her Illinois driver’s license suspension had just ended.

The DUI arrest for which she had just completed a suspension occurred in 2012. Since news reports indicated she was driving under a permit that required the installation of an Interlock device, the 2012 offense would have to have been her only offense in the past five years.

A DUI “suspension” relates to the consequences of either taking a blood or breath test and registering .08 or greater, or refusing to take any test. A suspension is for a specific period of time and ends automatically without an administrative hearing with the Illinois Secretary of State.

Suspensions are for different lengths. How long depends upon whether there was a test and upon whether the accused is a “first offender’ under the statutory summary suspension law. As defined by that law, a first offender is someone who has not had a DUI arrest in the prior five years. 625 ILCS 5/11-500

Therefore, her suspension, which started 46 days after the arrest if she tested, would have been for 6 months, or 12 months if she refused. Had she been a non-first offender, or in other words, had a DUI arrest in the last five years, her suspension would have been for 1 year or 3 years, depending upon whether she tested.

Only first offenders are allowed to drive during a suspension. The permit that allows them to do so is known as a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP). 625 ILCS 5/6-206.1 The MDDP forbids an offender from operating a vehicle that does not have an Interlock device installed.

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A charge of Driving Under the Influence, or DUI, will lead to a loss of driving privileges if the driver is convicted. 625 ILCS 5/6-205(a)(2) This includes convictions arising from a DUI committed in another state while the driver holds an Illinois driver’s license or is a resident of Illinois. 625 ILCS 5/6-206(a)(6)

A DUI offense that results in someone being killed also requires a driver’s license revocation. Unlike a standard DUI, for which the revocation is one year for a first conviction, five years for a second conviction that occurs within 20 years of a first conviction and ten years for a third conviction, a DUI involving death requires a revocation for a period of two years after the Secretary of State records the conviction or the offender’s release from incarceration, whichever is later.

Thus, for instance, if the offender is convicted and sentenced to prison for 10 years, he would not be eligible to apply for a license until he had been out of prison for two more years. In effect, he would be revoked for 12 years. In effect, then, a DUI involving a death has a revocation for a period of time that can only be determined after a sentence is imposed.

Your license may also be revoked in one instance in which you are involved in a crash and charged with DUI even though you are never convicted of DUI. Your license is subject to suspension in a situation in which you are never even charged with DUI but are asked to provide a blood or breath sample. Finally, if you are at-fault in a crash where someone dies, your license must be revoked if you are convicted of any moving traffic violation.

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Even a first time charge of DUI (Driving Under the Influence) that results in a conviction can have serious consequences. For one thing, there are criminal considerations.

A first conviction for DUI is a Class-A misdemeanor unless there are aggravating circumstances. A Class-A misdemeanor is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500.00 and or up to 364 days in the county jail. 730 ILCS 5/5-4.5-55
However, if your driving record is otherwise relatively clean of accidents, serious tickets such as driving without a license, or leaving the scene or reckless driving, to name a few, most counties and most judges will not ask for substantial jail time if any. It may be different if there was an accident that involved injuries and it will be a felony is someone was killed.

Even if you avoid jail time, a DUI conviction requires the Illinois Secretary of State to revoke your driver’s license for one year for a first time conviction. 625 ILCS 5/6-205 and 6-208 Following the conviction, you must have a driver’s license reinstatement hearing.

Before you can attend such a hearing, you must wait out any hard time on your statutory summary suspension. Once that time has passed, you will need to obtain a Drug and Alcohol Evaluation Uniform Report completed on a form developed jointly by the Secretary of State, the Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse (DASA) and the court system.

The form itself is a computer program. Based upon your driving record, your other alcohol and drug related criminal history and information you provide at an interview with a drug and alcohol evaluator, the program generates a risk classification level for you.

Assuming this is the first DUI arrest you have ever had, your risk level could be minimal, moderate, significant or high. Minimal risk offenders are those who take a breath test, register under .15 and have no abuse or dependency symptoms.

You must complete a 10-hour Driver Risk Education (DRE) course. The purpose of this is to teach you about the dangers of drinking and driving and how to avoid doing so.

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Illinois law currently provides that if you are arrested for DUI, your driver’s license may be suspended under the statutory summary suspension (SSS) laws. A suspension, which is a temporary invalidation of your driving privileges for a specified period of time, occurs in conjunction with a request by the arresting officer to take a chemical test, either a breath test or a blood test.

There is a different breath test, the preliminary breath test (PBT), that the officer will usually ask you to take at the arrest scene. Your taking or refusing to take this test has no bearing upon whether you are considered to have refused the test that determines the length of an SSS. 625 ILCS 5/11-501.5 Your response to the request to take the test at the police station is the one that counts, as it is the “chemical test”.

Likewise with blood tests, which are usually used when there is a crash or the officer suspects drugs. At the hospital, the emergency room personnel will ordinarily draw blood for the purpose of rendering treatment. This is known as a “medical draw”.

Later, a police officer will request a separate blood draw for his DUI kit. If you have had a medical draw but refuse the officer’s request for a blood kit draw, you are considered to have refused testing, even though the results of the medical draw can be used against you in the DUI case. 625 ILCS 5/11-501.4.

As shown by the varying scenarios with “refusal”, often with the law what seems obvious is not always so. And so it goes with “first offender”, another term that is relevant in determining the duration of a SSS.

In the context of SSS, a “first offender” is determined by looking back five years. If there is no DUI in the past 5 years, the offender is a first offender, even if there are older offenses. 625 ILCS 5/11-500

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Illinois law makes it illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol. (DUI). Penalties for a first offense can be as much as a fine of $2,500 and up to 364 days in the county jail, or a combination of the two. 625 ILCS 5/11-501
A conviction for DUI requires the Illinois Secretary of State to revoke your driver’s license. A driver’s license revocation nullifies your right to drive in Illinois. 625 ILCS 6-208

In order to be entitled to drive without any restrictions, you must have a driver’s license hearing with the Illinois Secretary of State. In other words, restoration of full driving privileges is not automatic. Christiansen v. Edgar, 209 Ill. App. 3d 36, 153 Ill. Dec. 738, 567 N.E.2d 696 (4 Dist. 1991)

Revocations vary in length and depend upon your previous DUI convictions, if any. Keep in mind that in making these calculations, any dispositions of court supervision are not counted, as supervision is not a conviction.

The first DUI conviction will bring a one year revocation. A second DUI convictions that occurs within 20 years of the first one leads to a revocation for 5 years.

A third conviction nets a 10 year revocation. A fourth conviction can result in a lifetime revocation if any arrest that results in a conviction occurred after January 1, 1999.

The Secretary of State does not track court cases; therefore it is the responsibility of the Circuit Clerk to notify him of any DUI conviction. Within about 10 days of being notified of a DUI conviction, the Secretary of State will revoke your driver’s license.

In many situations, you may apply for a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP) while the revocation is in effect. The RDP is not a “license” but rather is permission to drive, for limited purposes, while your are ineligible to apply for a full license (during the revocation window of 1, 5 or 10 years). But someone with a lifetime revocation due to four convictions cannot apply for an RDP either.

There are a few situations in which you must wait before you can apply for an RDP. If this is your second or third conviction (meaning a 5 or 10 year revocation), you cannot apply for an RDP during the first year of the revocation. If you are convicted of aggravated DUI that causes a death, you cannot apply for an RDP until 2 years after the revocation, or 2 years after you are released from incarceration, whichever is later.

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At one time, an arrest for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) was not that big of a deal. Many such charges were reduced to reckless driving so that the driver did not lose his or her driver’s license.

Even when a DUI conviction did occur, there was normally a small fine and after a short period of time, the driver was allowed to drive again. In addition, breath tests were optional and there was no downside in not agreeing to take a test.

The legal blood alcohol level (BAL) was high. Finally, even if a breath test existed, the state was still required to prove you were intoxicated at the time you were driving the car.

Today, the consequences of a DUI arrest, much less a conviction, are more serious. The police have developed more sophisticated investigative tools, such as the Horizontal Gaze Nystagumus (HGN), the walk-and-turn and the one-legged stand.

These are tests that, law enforcement alleges, are designed to determine whether your ability to perform physical tasks required to drive are impaired by alcohol. Results of your performance on these tests are often recorded on video cameras affixed to police cruiser dashboards.

These recordings are admissible in court. Furthermore, Illinois law allows police to ask you to provide a breath sample into a Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) in order to help in establishing whether there is probable cause to believe you may be under the influence of alcohol.

While PBT results are admissible to help the state establish that the police officer had a basis to believe you might be under the influence, the results themselves cannot be used to establish actual guilt. People v. Rose, 268 Ill. App. 3d 174, 205 Ill. Dec. 574, 643 N.E.2d 865 (4 Dist. 1994) Moreover, the accused is entitled to refuse to take the PBT and there is no penalty for doing so. 625 ILCS 5/11-501.5

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On a daily basis, we read and hear about arrests for Driving Under the Influence (DUI). After an arrest occurs, the case follows two tracks.

The first track has to do with the driver’s license suspension from a DUI arrest. In connection with a DUI arrest, you will be asked to submit to a portable breath test (PBT).

The results of a PBT cannot be used in court as direct evidence of your blood alcohol content (BAL), or in other words, whether you have enough alcohol in your body to be over the legal limit of .08. 625 ILCS 5/11-501.5 However, the officer may rely upon the PBT results, along with standardized field sobriety tests and other physical characteristics (bloodshot eyes, odor of alcohol, slurred speech, weaving and others) to determine if there is probable cause to believe you should be arrested for DUI.

Once the officer, relying upon the above factors, believes there is probable cause, you will be placed under arrest for DUI. After that you will be asked to submit to a “chemical test”, either a blood draw or by the use of a machine that is purportedly certified for accuracy and administered by someone with training in doing so. Consequently, those results are admissible in court to prove your BAL. 625 ILCS 5/11-501.2

A BAL of .08 or greater will result in a driver’s license suspension for a specific period of time, unless you are able to prosecute a rescission of the statutory summary suspension. You also have the right to refuse testing unless there is an accident with serious injury or unless you are taken to the hospital for medical treatment.

The length of the summary suspension depends upon two factors, those being whether you agreed to the test and whether it has been greater or fewer than five years since you received a previous DUI (if any). If you have had a DUI within the previous five years and you register .08 or higher, your suspension will last for one year. If you do not submit to a chemical test, you will be suspended for three years. You cannot drive for any reason, even on a restricted basis, during the suspension.

If this is your first DUI or if the most recent prior DUI happened more five years ago, then a refusal will result in a one year suspension and a test of .08 or higher will lead to a six month suspension. After the first thirty days of the suspension, you would be eligible for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP).

The second prong of a DUI arrest involves the crime of DUI. It is a crime because if you are convicted, you are subject to fines and or jail time.

Before the government can take away your property or liberty, they must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you committed the crime of which you are accused. Thus, unlike the driver’s license suspension, which is automatic, the state must prove certain things before you can be convicted of DUI.

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