Articles Posted in PDPS

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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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For most of this country’s life, matters dealing with local public safety, including DUI and traffic laws, have been the responsibility of state government. The one notable exception has been the rules of the road governing traffic on the Interstate highway system, whose funding comes primarily from the federal government, and of course the Interstate highway systems crosses the boundaries of all the states.

Beginning in 1984 and continuing to this day, that changed. While beyond the Commercial Driver’s License CDL law Congress has not explicitly injected itself into traffic laws, it has done so indirectly. When it wants states to do something, Congress uses the coercive power of the purse: if a state does not pass a law Congress believes it should, Congress withholds federal highway money.

Prior to 1984, the age at which a person could purchase, or possess, or consume alcohol varied among the states. In Illinois, the age for beer and wine was 19, and it was 21 for distilled alcohol. In Iowa, the age for all alcoholic beverages was 18.

Today, the drinking age in Illinois is 21. 235 ILCS 5/6-16 It is the same in all 50 states. No state wants to forfeit federal highway funds.

At one time, each state was free to set its own legal limit for blood alcohol content, or to have no limit at all. In Illinois, the limit was initially 15, later lowered to .10. Today, it is .08. (625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(1)), as it is in all 50 states. The reason for this is, that’s how the federal government wants it to be.

The federal government has gotten involved more directly pertaining to CDLS It has been accepted that because over-the-road truckers cross state boundaries, a uniform set of laws benefits both the motoring public and the trucking industry. While the federal government has not written a specific CDL law, it has set forth guidelines that all states are required to follow at the risk of losing their ability to issue CDLS if they fail to do so. Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 (CMVSA) (Title XII of Pub. Law 99-570) [49 U.S.C. § 2701 et seq.]

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An Illinois resident, or any person, whether a resident or not, who holds an Illinois driver’s license, may find an out-of-state Driving Under the Influence (DUI) arrest coming into play at an Illinois driver’s license hearing.

Illinois is one of 45 states that is, at present, a member of the Driver License Compact (DLC). 625 ILCS 5/6-700 et. seq. It is common (and wrong) knowledge that out-of-state DUI offenses enter the driver’s license hearing process only through the DLC.

It is certainly true that the state where the offense occurred may, if it is a member of the DLC, and even if it is not, report a DUI conviction to Illinois. In that case, Illinois will enter a conviction on the Illinois driving record and a discretionary revocation. The length of the revocation will be the same as if it were an in-state conviction. 625 ILCS 5/6-208 (explicitly including out-of-state offenses in the calculation).

Thus, a first conviction leads to a 1 year revocation, a second conviction causes a 5 year revocation if the prior conviction was within the preceding 20 years and a third conviction will yield a 10 year revocation. 625 ILCS 5/6-208 b) 1-4 If any fourth or more conviction results from an arrest that occurred on or after January, 1, 1999, there is a lifetime ban on any type of driving relief, even a restricted license. 625 ILCS 5/6-208(b)4; 92 Illinois Administrative Code §1001.420(o)

These rules determine when a person is eligible to petition for driving relief, assuming the statutory summary suspension has ended. But the drug and alcohol evaluation that determines an offender’s risk classification (minimal, moderate, significant or high risk) is driven in part by the number of “DUI dispositions“. Out-of-state dispositions must be included. It is not that difficult of a concept to grasp when all the offenses are shown on the driving abstract.

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The impact an out of state offense for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) has on your Illinois driver’s license depends upon a number of factors. There is no one-size-fits-all answer.

If someone holds a driver’s license in one state (the licensing state) and receives a DUI in another state (the reporting state the Interstate Driver’s License Compact (Compact) requires the reporting state to notify the licensing state of that fact. So if you receive a DUI in Iowa, a Compact state, Iowa is supposed to report that to Illinois, also a Compact state. Illinois will enter that conviction on your driving record.

Compact states are also obligated to report breath and blood test refusals to the licensing state even if the DUI is dropped or reduced to a lesser charge. After Illinois receives a refusal report, the Illinois Secretary of State will suspend your driver’s license for 12 months if you have no other DUI record and for 3 years if you have had a DUI in the previous 5 years.

A driver’s license suspension ends automatically without the need to got through a hearing with the Secretary of State, as is required if your driver’s license is revoked. A revocation will occur if the reporting state notifies the licensing state of a DUI conviction. You can be suspended and revoked for the same offense, or only suspended if the DUI is dropped, or only revoked if you take a breath test but are convicted of the DUI.

Your right to request a driver’s license or driving permit depends, among other things, upon your driving record of DUI convictions, including those that are reported to Illinois in accordance with the Compact. If the out-of-state DUI offense results in your one and only conviction, you will be revoked for one year.

If the out-of-state conviction is one of two DUI offenses that appear on your Illinois record, you will be revoked for 5 years. If the out-of state conviction is one of three DUI offenses on your Illinois record, you will be revoked for 10 years.

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An experienced Illinois driver’s license reinstatement lawyer knows that Illinois will not issue a new driver’s license, renew an existing one or clear a hold so that you can obtain an out-of-state driver’s license if you have a fourth DUI arrest after January 1, 1999 that results in a conviction. In determining the number of convictions you have, Illinois will include out-of-state convictions even if the convictions do not appear on your Illinois driving record but appear on the National Registry/PDPS.

This leads to harsh results. Years ago, the law did not treat DUI seriously and there was no four-conviction rule. Yet the old DUI counts against you forever, even though you received it before the four-conviction rule applied.

This could result in your paying for a DUI you received 20 or 30 years ago but did not fight because it was “no big deal”. You have now, years later, been convicted of a fourth DUI from an arrest that occurred after January 1, 1999 and been informed that you can never drive again, not even for work.

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You are probably reading this because the state in which you now reside either will not renew an existing license or will not issue an original one because the national registry has “flagged” an Illinois DUI. Your state’s DMV has informed you that before it can issue you a license, you must remove the Illinois hold. In order to accomplish this, you must have a hearing (either through a mailed-in packet or in-person) with the Secretary of State (which is Illinois’ DMV).

Each state is now required, before issuing a new driver’s license, or renewing an existing one, to check the national registry of driving records to determine if the driver has received DUI arrests in any other states. This new requirement, driven by Federal law, can affect both Illinois and out-of-state residents.

The system is known as Problem Driver Pointer System (PDPS), as it is designed to “point” other states to problem drivers. Because of PDPS, the days of jumping from state to state in order to avoid DUI revocations is over, and many drivers are finding their pasts catching up to them.

While on rare occasions the national registry misses DUI offenses, for the most part, it picks them up, even very old ones. This occurs even in those instances where a judge or lawyer many years ago assured you that the case would be dismissed, expunged, not go on your record, disappear or not otherwise “count”.

Even if the DUI itself was dropped, or was never charged, the arrest will show up if you were offered the breath test but refused to take it, or took the breath test and registered above the legal limit for that state.

Some states purge (remove) DUI arrests from their own records. (Illinois does not). However, despite being removed from the official driving record, the DUI is nonetheless likely to appear on the national registry.

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