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.
When it comes to convictions that an Illinois resident or holder of an Illinois driver’s license receives in another state, further complications may arise. A state such as Illinois that is a member of the Interstate Driver’s License Compact (625 ILCS 5/1-117) is supposed to report out-of-state convictions to other member states. That does not always occur. Additionally, even some non-Compact states report convictions to Member states. Finally, some states will, after a period of time, expunge DUI convictions.
The net result can be confusion. An out-of-state conviction, if recorded on an Illinois driving abstract, disqualifies the driver from receiving court supervision. While a diligent prosecutor may be able to uncover non-reported DUI convictions that occur in other states, that often does not happen.
On the other hand, at a driver’s license hearing, the Secretary of State is likely to discover out-of-state DUI arrests, including arrests in which a DUI charge was dismissed, pleaded down to reckless driving or never even filed, if the arrest results in an implied consent suspension due to taking a breath test or refusing to take one. These offenses are uncovered through a national database of DUI offenders by use of the Problem Pointer Driver System or PDPS.
All out-of-state DUI arrests that result in supervision, a conviction, a reduction to reckless driving or an implied consent suspension must be listed on the Uniform Drug and Alcohol Evaluation Report. The number of DUI reported on an evaluation has a significant impact upon the number of hours of alcohol classes an applicant for driving relief must complete before attending a driver’s license hearing.
Under what circumstances is a Drug and Alcohol Evaluation required in Illinois? September 21, 2012, Illinois DUI Lawyer Blawg
Five Montana Indian reservations do not report DUI convictions to the State July 5, 2013, Illinois DUI Lawyer Blawg