Most are aware that it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle in the state of Illinois while under the influence. If you are convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI), your driver’s license will be revoked. 625 ILCS 5/6-205(a)(2)
A revocation is a termination of your present driver’s license and driving privileges. 625 ILCS 5/1-176 In order to reacquire the legal authority to drive, you must apply for a new driver’s license through an administrative hearing with the Illinois Secretary of State.
You cannot make application for a new license immediately. For a first conviction, you must wait one year. For a second conviction that occurs less than 20 years after the first conviction, you are required to wait five years.
A third conviction, no matter how many years it occurs after the second one, entails a waiting period of ten years. 625 ILCS 5/6-208(b) A fourth conviction, including out-of-state convictions, makes you ineligible to apply for a license for your entire life, if any of the offenses occurred after January 1, 1999. 625 ILCS 5/6-208(b)4); 92 Illinois Administrative Code §1001.420(o)
A DUI that is dismissed, or reduced to reckless driving, or a successfully completed court supervision do not count as convictions. Therefore, every DUI arrest might not count against you for purpose of determining at what point you are eligible to apply for reinstatement.
Someone with one DUI conviction may apply for a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP) (also known as hardship license or work permit) after 30 days. Following a second or third conviction, there is a one-year waiting period before you can apply for an RDP. A person with four or more convictions cannot request an RDP.
You must also consider the effect of a statutory summary suspension (SSS). An SSS is entered at the time of a DUI arrest when you are asked to take a breath or blood test and either refuse to do so, or register above the legal limit of .08.
Forty six days after you are served with the summary suspension notice, your driver’s license will be suspended for between six months and three years, the length of which depends upon how many prior DUIS you have on your record and on whether you took or refused the test at the time of the most recent DUI.
A suspension is a temporary withdrawal of driving privileges for a specific period of time. 625 ILCS 5/1-204 When the period of time ends, the suspension terminates.
During the period that an SSS is in effect, you cannot apply for an RDP. Once the suspension ends and you pay the fee, you are free to drive unless you are convicted of the DUI, at which point your license will be revoked. Once you become eligible for an RDP, you may apply for one even if your revocation is still in effect. To do so, you must have a driver’s license hearing.
There are two potential effects on an Illinois Driver’s license as a result of out-of-state DUI arrest. First, if you are arrested for DUI in another state and that state reports to Illinois that you refused the breath test, your Illinois driver’s license will be suspended if you were, at the time of the arrest, licensed in Illinois and/or a resident of this state. 615 ILCS 5/6-203.1 At least some states, including Michigan and Wisconsin, report refusals to Illinois even though they are not members of the Interstate Driver’s License Compact.
If you are convicted of the out-of-state DUI, Illinois will revoke your driver’s license, at which point you must have a hearing with the Secretary of State. 625 ILCS 5/6-206(a)(6). This is true even if, had you committed the offense in Illinois, you would have been eligible for court supervision and thereby avoided a revocation. Schultz v. Edgar, 170 Ill. App. 3d 36, 120 Ill. Dec. 378, 523 N.E.2d 1289 (1 Dist. 1988).