In the state of Illinois, the offense of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a crime. Assuming this is a first offense and there are no aggravating factors, a conviction for DUI is a Class-A misdemeanor. 625 ILCS 5/11-501(c)(1) The maximum criminal punishment is a fine of up to $2,500 and/or up to 364 days in the county jail. 730 ILCS 5/5-4.5-55
The DUI arrest and the conviction also have driver’s license consequences. For a first DUI offense, your driver’s license is subject to a suspension for six months if you submit to a blood or breath test that reveals a blood alcohol contents of .08 or higher. Should you decide not to provide a sample, your driver’s license is subject to a suspension for twelve months. 625 ILCS 5/6-208.1
The suspension, known as a Statutory Summary Suspension (SSS), begins on the 46th day following the date on which the arresting officer serves you with a notice of SSS, which usually occurs at the time of the DUI arrest.625 ILCS 5/11-501.1(h) For the first thirty days that the suspension is in effect, you are prohibited from driving.
Thereafter, you are entitled to a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP) so long as you were over 18 at the time of the offense, no serious injury resulted, your license was valid and you do not have a previous arrest for reckless homicide. 625 ILCS 5/6-206.1 At the end of the suspension period, your driving privileges may be restored, unless that are otherwise invalidate, such as by being convicted of the DUI for which you were arrested.
A DUI conviction results in a revocation of your driver’s license. For a first conviction the revocation is for one year. 625 ILCS 5/6-208 This does not mean that at the end of the year, you automatically get your license restored.
A revocation means that your current license is permanently invalid; in fact, the Secretary of State shreds it. You must, in order to restore full driving privileges, have a Secretary of State driver’s license hearing. However, after your SSS ends, you may apply for a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP) while the revocation is still in effect. This will allow you to drive for limited purposes, such as work, doctor appointments, Alcoholic Anonymous, school and day care.
A disposition of court supervision is a means to avoid the driver’s license revocation and also possible jail time. With a court supervision disposition, you plead guilty to the DUI offense but the judge withholds entering a judgment of conviction and puts you under a supervision order for a given period of time.
If you obey the supervision order, which typically includes paying fines, completing alcohol counseling, attending a Victim Impact Panel and staying out of trouble, the charges are dismissed. You are not therefore convicted of DUI. 730 ILCS 5/5-6-3.1; Kirwan v. Welch, 133 Ill. 2d 163, 139 Ill. Dec. 836, 549 N.E.2d 348 (1989)
Because the revocation law, found at 625 ILCS 5/6-205(a)(2), requires a conviction, court supervision will not result in a driver’s license revocation. Nor can someone who is granted court supervision be sentenced to jail. People v. Roper, 116 Ill. App. 3d 821, 72 Ill. Dec. 495, 452 N.E.2d 748 (1 Dist. 1983)
However, the DUI supervision disposition becomes a permanent part of your file with the Secretary of State and cannot be expunged. 20 ILCS 2630/5.2 This permanent record is important because you can only receive supervision for DUI once in your lifetime. 730 ILCS 5/5-6-1
Most employers are prohibited from asking about any expunge records. 20 ILCS 2630/12 However, because a DUI supervision cannot be expunged and because DUI is a crime, you must read any employment application carefully.
If you are asked, have you ever been convicted of a crime and you received supervision, you can answer “no”. But if ask if you ever pled guilty to a crime, you must answer “yes” since supervision requires a guilty plea and DUI supervision cannot be expunged.