A suburban Chicago woman was arrested for Driving Under the Influence, also known as DUI, DWI or drunk driving. She was just coming off a previous DUI and told police she out celebrating the fact her Illinois driver’s license suspension had just ended.
The DUI arrest for which she had just completed a suspension occurred in 2012. Since news reports indicated she was driving under a permit that required the installation of an Interlock device, the 2012 offense would have to have been her only offense in the past five years.
A DUI “suspension” relates to the consequences of either taking a blood or breath test and registering .08 or greater, or refusing to take any test. A suspension is for a specific period of time and ends automatically without an administrative hearing with the Illinois Secretary of State.
Suspensions are for different lengths. How long depends upon whether there was a test and upon whether the accused is a “first offender’ under the statutory summary suspension law. As defined by that law, a first offender is someone who has not had a DUI arrest in the prior five years. 625 ILCS 5/11-500
Therefore, her suspension, which started 46 days after the arrest if she tested, would have been for 6 months, or 12 months if she refused. Had she been a non-first offender, or in other words, had a DUI arrest in the last five years, her suspension would have been for 1 year or 3 years, depending upon whether she tested.
Only first offenders are allowed to drive during a suspension. The permit that allows them to do so is known as a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP). 625 ILCS 5/6-206.1 The MDDP forbids an offender from operating a vehicle that does not have an Interlock device installed.
Once the driver’s suspension was over, she would be entitled to drive again, provided that she was not convicted of the DUI itself. When an Illinois driver is convicted of DUI, the Secretary of State is required to revoke their driver’s license if the arrest occurred in Illinois. While not required to do so, the Secretary of State also has the authority to revoke an Illinois driver’s license if the holder of the license is convicted of a DUI that occurs in another state. 625 ILCS 5/6-206
A guilty plea to DUI does not always lead to a revocation however. Court supervision is a guilty plea but no judgment of conviction is entered on the record. Thus, because the law requires a conviction in order to revoke a driver’s license, supervision avoids a driver’s license revocation, although it has nothing to do with avoiding a suspension.
It is possible that this woman was celebrating because her license suspension was coming to an end and she had been granted court supervision, meaning that her driving problems were over. However, the second DUI presents her with a new set of challenges.
First, she is not a first offender any longer. So she is not entitled to an MDDP. She will be unable to drive during her suspension, which will be at least one year and possibly three years, if she refused the test.
Moreover, even once the suspension ends, she may very well face a revoked license due to a DUI conviction. Supervision is not an option, since it is available for a DUI offense only once in your life and is not available if you have had a previous DUI conviction or reckless driving.
What is the difference in Illinois between a suspended and revoked driver’s license? November 2, 2012, Illinois DUI Lawyer Blawg
Under what DUI situations is the Ignition Interlock Device (IID) required in Illinois? February 1, 2013, Illinois DUI Lawyer Blawg