You may be facing your first DUI charge. It could have been one of those fluke situations–you had a couple of drinks too many this one time and ended up driving. That can happen in real life.
However, because of pervasive distorted reporting by powerful interest groups and their media mouthpieces, the DUI system operates under different assumptions. These assumptions explain why the DUI arrest and driver’s license reinstatement hearing processes may not function as you would expect.
First, some background will be helpful. There are two related but different tracks in an Illinois DUI situation. DUI is a crime that can result in jail and or fines. You are presumed to be innocent of the crime of DUI until proven guilty.
A DUI arrest can also result in license sanctions (suspension), and more severe sanctions (revocation) result from a conviction. The law does not consider the license sanctions to be in the nature of criminal proceedings and therefore the protections afforded in the criminal case (such as innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt) do not apply. If your license is revoked for DUI, you must prove to the Illinois Secretary of State that you will be a safe driver in the future.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is a powerful force in the DUI crackdown. MADD contends that a person arrested once for DUI has previously driven intoxicated on 87 occasions. Because of MADD’s political power, government agencies such as the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism have bought into this line of thinking.
Likewise, a Google search of “MADD and Illinois Secretary of State” yields page after page of evidence that for many years, the Secretary of State has worked closely with MADD and shares its philosophy. In other words, it is a safe bet that as MADD goes, so goes the Secretary of State. In summary, when you attend a driver’s license reinstatement hearing you are not justifying just 1 DUI, but at least 87 others.