Every state has laws that make it illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol (DUI). 625 ILCS 5/11-501 Each state also has laws concerning the consequences of a DUI arrest and a DUI conviction. The laws of each state vary substantially regarding these driver’s license consequences and what is required for a driver’s license reinstatement.
The fact of a DUI arrest alone triggers potential driver’s license consequences. Forty-six days after an arrest, the state will suspend your driver’s license for a period of six months to three years. A driver’s license suspension means that your driver’s license is temporarily put on hold.
A person who has not had a DUI arrest in the previous five years is known as a first offender even if this is not their first DUI. Those who have had an arrest within the previous five years are non-first offenders.
The legal alcohol limit in Illinois is .08. The test to determine this level, whether it be through breath samples or blood draws, is known as the chemical test. A chemical test with a result of .08 or higher is known as positive.
A driver’s license revocation occurs if you are convicted of the DUI in court. A revocation is a nullification of your driver’s license and driving privileges.
Those privileges are not just put on hold temporarily. To restore them, you must have an administrative hearing with the Illinois Secretary of State.
Just as is the case with a driver’s license suspension in Illinois, the length of a driver’s license revocation will vary.
A suspension for a first offender who tests positively lasts for six months and for a first offender who refuses, it will be for twelve months. A non-first offender that tests positively sees a twelve month suspension and one who refuses will suffer a three year suspension.
Once a suspension for a first offender has been in effect for 30 days, the driver can obtain a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP). This authorizes unrestricted driving but requires an Interlock device that tests for breath alcohol when the driver attempts to start the car. A non-first offender may not drive during the entire suspension, even on a limited or restricted basis.
If a driver is convicted of DUI and is revoked, the driver, even one with an MDDP, must stop driving and apply to the Secretary of State for a full license if eligible. Or if not eligible for a full license, you may apply for a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP), which is also known as a work permit or hardship license, provided there are no hard time considerations. Hard time is that time during which there is no right to any type of driving relief.
Non-first offenders are not eligible for an RDP or an MDDP. The entire suspension is hard time in other words.
Anyone who is facing a second DUI conviction has one year of hard time for an RDP. A disposition of court supervision is not a conviction, as a result of which many people with two DUI arrests are eligible for an RPD hearing without hard time because the first offense resulted in supervision.
A second conviction results in a revocation for five years, if the convictions occurred less than twenty years apart. Those people may apply for an RDP after one year, unless a hard time suspension is still in effect.
A third conviction for DUI will cause a revocation of ten years. The same rules that apply to a second conviction apply to a third one as far as being eligible for an RDP.
If someone has four or more DUI convictions, including out of state convictions, any of which occurred due to an arrest after December 31, 1998, that driver is banned for life from ever getting a driver’s license in Illinois or having the revocation hold released so they can apply for a license in another state. House Bill 1568 would lift this lifetime ban once certain conditions were met.
Illinois’ lifetime ban on driving privileges may block the ability to obtain an out of state driver’s license December 2, 2011, Illinois DUI Lawyer Blawg
Illinois Secretary of State adopts rules requiring integration of cameras in Interlock devices May 31, 2013, Illinois DUI Lawyer Blawg