Articles Posted in Driver’s License Reinstatement

Published on:

Illinois driver’s license law requires most individuals who wish to operate a vehicle on the public roadways of Illinois to possess a valid driver’s license issued by Illinois. (625 ILCS 5/6-101) Moreover, under the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the United States Constitution, Illinois must recognize a driver’s license issued by any other state.

At this juncture, a word about an International Driver’s License is in order. The ones that you buy on the Internet are worthless and afford you no legal protection.

These should be distinguished from the International Driver’s License that the Illinois Secretary of State will issue to a driver from another country who provides proof that they hold a valid foreign license. In reality, what the Secretary of State does is issue the foreign national a temporary Illinois driver’s license that is backed up by a valid license from another country, which is what distinguishes it from the Internet junk.

Back to the matter at hand, let’s suppose you do not have a valid license, either because you never obtained one or the one you had has expired or been canceled for some reason. If you are caught driving, you are guilty of the offense of driving without a valid license.

While somewhat serious, a conviction for this offense will probably not land you in jail. Most prosecutors will in fact dismiss the ticket if you are able to obtain a valid license for court. And even absent that, you are likely to receive court supervision, at least for a first or second offense.

Continue reading →

Published on:

According to the Illinois DUI law, anyone who is arrested for Driving Under the Influence could face a driver’s license suspension for a period of between six months and three years. (625 ILCS 5/6-208.1) Unless challenged by first filing a petition to rescind the statutory summary suspension (SSS) and then succeeding at a hearing, the suspension is automatic if a driver is asked to take a chemical test and either refuses to do so or does so and registers a blood alcohol level (BAL) of .08 or higher.

A “chemical test” is either a blood test taken at a medical facility at the request of the arresting officer or a breath test administered with the use of a certified device, typically located at a police station. (625 ILCS 5/11-501.2) A preliminary breath test is a less sophisticated device that is not certified for accuracy and the results cannot be used as direct evidence in a DUI prosecution.

The SSS will begin on the 46th day following the arresting officer’s service on the defendant of a Law Enforcement Sworn Report. This is a paper by which the officer documents the fact the suspect was read warnings about the consequences of either taking the test and registering at least .08 or of refusing the test, as well as the outcome of the results of that warning (either a BAL reading or a refusal).

The accused has 90 days to file a petition to rescind the SSS and the state must set the petition for hearing within 30 days after the petition is filed. A judge, not a jury, decides whether or not to rescind the suspension.

While the SSS is in effect, the driver may be entitled to a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP) that allows driving wherever, whenever and why ever the driver wishes. In order to receive these unlimited driving privileges, the driver must wait out the first thirty days of the SSS and then agree to use an Interlock device that, by requiring the driver to blow into a tube attached to the Interlock device, detects breath alcohol if any is present.

Continue reading →

Published on:

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.

Continue reading →

Published on:

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).

Continue reading →

Published on:

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).

Continue reading →

Published on:

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.

Continue reading →

Published on:

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.

Continue reading →

Published on:

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.

Continue reading →

Published on:

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

Continue reading →

Published on:

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.

Continue reading →

Contact Information