If you have been arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Illinois you may be eligible for an MDDP during the time your driver’s license is suspended. During a DUI arrest, you will be asked to provide the police with a breath or blood sample to determine whether your blood alcohol level exceeds the legal limit. In Illinois, as in all 50 states, the legal limit is .08.
If you submit a blood or breath sample and register above .08, or you refuse to submit, your driver’s license will be suspended. A suspension, unlike a driver’s license revocation, automatically ends when the suspension period is over.
Should this be your second DUI offense in the past five years, your license will be suspended for 1 year or 3 years. If you submit to a test, the suspension will be for 1 year. If you decline to submit, the suspension will last for 3 years.
As you can see, the law is designed to encourage you to submit to testing, in order to make it easier for the police to prove their case. You are not allowed to drive for any purpose during the 1 or 3 year suspension, not even with a restricted driving permit (RDP). This forces a non first offender to think long and hard about whether to offer a blood or breath sample.
On the other hand, if you have not had a DUI arrest in the 5 years preceding a current arrest, your suspension time will be shorter and you may be eligible for an MDDP. Notice that you may be eligible for the MDDP even if this is not your first DUI offense. You are considered a first offender for MDDP purposes so long as the arrests are more than 5 years apart, no matter how many arrests are on your record.
You are not eligible for an MDDP if your license is otherwise invalid (revoked for DUI for example); the current DUI resulted in death or great bodily harm; you have a previous conviction for reckless homicide or if at the time you committed the DUI, you were under the age of 18. Otherwise, a first offender is eligible.
A first offender who submits to testing will be suspended for 6 months; those who do not will suffer a 12-month suspension. After the first 30 days of either suspension, a first offender is eligible for an MDDP.
The MDDP allows you to drive anywhere, for any reason, at any time with no restrictions. However, you must accept the BAIID program at your expense, including installing a breath alcohol-detecting machine on any vehicle you operate.