Reinstatement of Your License After DUI
Driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol is a serious offense in Illinois. As a result, a DUI conviction will result in either a suspension or revocation or your driver’s license, depending on the circumstances of the offense. Additionally, a statutory summary suspension automatically occurs if you either refuse or fail chemical testing after a DUI arrest. The length of the suspension or revocation period varies based on the offense. Once the suspension or revocation period ends, your license does not automatically get reinstated. A Chicago DUI Lawyer can help you with the process to get your license reinstated after a DUI arrest.
What is statutory summary suspension?
Statutory summary suspension is an automatic suspension of your driver’s license if you either:
- Refuse to submit to chemical testing when arrested for DUI; or
- Fail chemical testing when arrested for DUI
This suspension automatically occurs on the 46th day from the date of the suspension notice. Statutory summary suspension is an administrative process and is separate from any criminal proceedings.
What counts as failed chemical testing?
A chemical test is failed when its shows a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher, or evidence of use of a controlled substance. For driver’s under the age of 21, there is zero tolerance. Any amount of alcohol counts as a failed test.
Why is there an automatic suspension for refusing to submit to chemical testing?
Illinois has an implied consent law. This means that by getting behind the wheel, you are agreeing to submit to chemical testing if you are arrested for DUI. Since you have already given your consent to testing by getting behind the wheel, your license will automatically get suspended if you subsequently refuse to take the test.
What is the period of suspension for statutory summary suspension?
When you fail chemical testing by having a BAC of .08 or higher or have trace amounts of other drugs, your suspension is as follows:
- First Offense—6 months suspension (MDDP on 31st day of suspension)
- Second or Subsequent Offense in 5 Years—12 months suspension
When you refuse to submit to chemical testing, your suspension is as follows:
- First Offense—12 months suspension (MDDP on 31st day of suspension)
- Second or Subsequent Offense in 5 Years—3 years suspension
What is the period of revocation for a DUI conviction?
The revocation period varies depending on the situation and the number of DUI convictions. The possible revocation periods are as follows:
- First Conviction—One year revocation.
- Second Conviction—Five years revocation.
- Third Conviction—Ten years revocation.
- Fourth or Subsequent Conviction—Lifetime revocation.
What is a MDDP?
Though your license gets suspended or revoked, it may be possible to get driving relief. You may ask to get a Monitoring Device Driver’s Permit (MDDP) which allows you to drive a car with a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) installed. In order to drive the car, you would have to breathe into the device. The car will not start if it detects alcohol. In the past only first time convictions qualified for driving relief. A new law that goes into effect in January 2016 makes it possible for some drivers to qualify for driving relief even for subsequent DUI convictions as long as they drive a car with the BAIID installed.
Can you have more than one suspension?
Yes, you can have more than one suspension or revocation at one time. No suspension invalidates another suspension. For a DUI you can get a statutory summary suspension for failing the chemical testing and receive another suspension for a DUI conviction. The statutory summary suspension is separate from the criminal DUI proceedings which, if convicted, may result in a revocation.
What is a judicial hearing?
Driver’s may choose to request a judicial hearing upon receiving a statutory summary suspension. This request must be made within 90 days of the date on the suspension notice. The hearing must take place within 30 days of the request. Five issues can be considered at the hearing:
- Whether or not the person was arrested for DUI.
- Whether or not there was reasonable grounds to conclude that the person was in physical control of the car while under the influence at the time of the arrest.
- Whether or not the driver refused to submit to chemical testing.
- Whether or not the driver failed the chemical test by having a BAC of .08 or higher or having trace amounts of drugs.
- Whether or not the driver was involved in a crash that involved serious injury or death.
What happens if I drive on a suspended or revoked license?
Driving on a suspended or revoked driver’s license is a criminal offense. Depending on the situation, this may be charged as a class A misdemeanor or a felony. Class A misdemeanors have the possibility of one year in jail and up to $2,500 in fines. Felonies can have a fine of up to $25,000 and sentences of over a year in prison depending on the severity of the charge.
How do you get your license reinstated after a statutory summary suspension?
You can have your license reinstated after the end of the statutory summary suspension period. This does not automatically happen. You must complete the required forms and pay the required fees. In order to get your license reinstated from a statutory summary suspension, you must:
- Not have any other suspensions or revocations.
- Pay the $250 reinstatement fee. Repeat offenders must pay $500.
- Wait until the reinstatement is entered on your driving record and the provisional termination date has passed.
How do you get your driver’s license reinstated after a DUI conviction?
Once again, your driver’s license does not automatically get reinstated after the revocation period is over from a DUI conviction. You must take steps to get your driver’s license reinstated. In order to qualify for reinstatement, you must:
- Have a clear driving record.
- Complete a drug/alcohol evaluation.
- Complete a drug/alcohol remedial education program.
- Appear before a hearing through the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office. Informal hearings are required for first time offenders. Subsequent offenses require formal hearings.
- Show in the hearing that the public safety will not be endangered if you get your driving privileges reinstated.
- File proof of financial responsibility.
- Pay $500 reinstatement fee.
- Pass driver’s license exam.
Do I need to hire a Chicago DUI lawyer to get my license reinstated?
Losing your driver’s license can make life difficult. Without a car, it can be almost impossible to get to work every day. Whenever your driver’s license is involved, it is smart to have someone advocate for you. A Chicago DUI lawyer can help you with all aspects of your DUI case, from the criminal charges to the statutory summary suspension. Chicago DUI lawyers are familiar with all parts of the DUI process and can give you quality advice on how to handle the charges and help you get your driving privileges reinstated. If you have been arrested for DUI, contact the Chicago DUI attorneys at Tower Legal. Call now for your DUI case consultation.