One of Mike Ditka’s sons, Mark Ditka, was arrested for DUI in Lake County Illinois. This follows closely on the heels of his brother Michael’s DUI arrest last month, his third. Some may recall their father Mike Ditka, former NFL football player, coach and television announcer, was arrested for DUI a few years ago, in the northern part of Illinois.
Michael has two previous DUI violations. Therefore, Illinois prosecutors have charged him with felony DUI in accordance with 625 ILCS 5/11-501 (d). Although his first offense may have resulted in court supervision, which is not a conviction, Michael faces a felony offense due to appellate court case law holding that any prior “violation”, including supervision, counts in determining whether there is a third violation. People v. Bloomberg, 378 Ill. App. 3d 686, 881 N.E.2d 615, 317 Ill. Dec. 447, (Ill. App. Ct. 2008)
Both Michael and Mark have pleaded not guilty. Since DUI is a criminal offense, the state has the burden of proving them guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. People v. Shaffer, 134 Ill. App. 3d 548, 89 Ill. Dec. 709, 481 N.E.2d 61 (1 Dist. 1985)
On the other hand, Mark is eligible to receive court supervision. Court supervision is not a conviction. This is important because the Illinois Secretary of State will not revoke your license if you are not convicted of DUI. Therefore, you will not be required to attend a driver’s license hearing.
Court supervision is not available if you have had a previous DUI conviction in Illinois or any other state. Nor can you receive court supervision if you have had received it in Illinois or any other state in the past. Finally, you are not eligible for court supervision if you have had a previous DUI charge in this or any other state that was pled down to reckless driving. 730 ILCS 5/5-6-1(d).
In determining whether to grant you court supervision, the judge will look at a number of factors, including but not limited to, your age, your BAC reading, whether you cooperated with law enforcement, whether there was an accident and your overall driving record. Supervision is never automatic even if you are eligible for it. People v. Price, 247 Ill. App. 3d 787, 187 Ill. Dec. 452, 617 N.E.2d 909 (4 Dist.), cert. denied, 153 Ill. 2d 567, 191 Ill. Dec. 626, 624 N.E.2d 814 (1993)
When there is a DUI arrest, in addition to the consequences of the arrest, including jail time, fines and a driver’s license revocation, your driver’s license may be suspended for a specific period of time. A suspension is less serious than a revocation because a suspension ends automatically and if you are not convicted of the DUI, you will not have to attend a driver’s license hearing.
The proof that the state has to submit in order to uphold a driver’s license suspension is much lower than proof beyond a reasonable doubt required in order to prove the DUI conviction. The reason is that the only thing at risk in a suspension case is the loss of your driver’s license.
In a DUI prosecution, your liberty and your property are at risk, whereas you have no property interest in a driver’s license since it is a privilege and not a right. People v. Griffith, 153 Ill. App. 3d 856, 506 N.E.2d 430, 106 Ill. Dec. 723 (1987) Therefore, you can obtain a not guilty result on a DUI charge but still suffer a driver’s license suspension.