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Alan E. Jones, Attorney at Law

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Alan E. Jones, Attorney at Law

If police arrest you for a DUI in Illinois, you can receive a statutory summary suspension for your license. This suspends your license, potentially leaving you without the ability to drive. And even if the court doesn’t charge you with a DUI, the suspension can still stay in place.

A license suspension is separate from any criminal charges related to a DUI. The suspension is an automatic penalty if you fail or refuse to take a chemical test. Even if a court rules against the DUI, the suspension stays active.

First defenders are automatically eligible to participate in the Secretary of State’s Monitoring Device Driving Permit Program, or MDDP. If you choose to install one of these monitoring devices, known as a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device or BAIID, in your car and maintain it at your own expense, you may legally drive 24/7 even though you are suspended.

Anyone arrested for a DUI has 90 days to file a Petition to Rescind Statutory Summary Suspension. Here are the five reasons you can ask the court to rescind your license suspension:

  • Not arrested properly – The arresting officer must arrest you for breaking an Illinois law or local ordinance and give you a Uniform Traffic Ticket.
  • Not enough proof that you drove while intoxicated– An officer must have a reasonable suspicion that you either drove or had actual physical control of the vehicle while under the influence.
  • No warning of license suspension – Per Illinois law, the arresting officer must inform you that failure of a chemical test or failure to submit to testing can result in license suspension.
  • No refusal or lack of completion – This is if the arresting officer said that you refused to take or complete a chemical test but you either agreed or did not get the option.
  • No failure of the test – An officer can only suspend your license for being over the legal limit or refusing to take a chemical test. You can petition the court to lift the suspension if the test you agreed to take showed you were under the legal limit listed in Illinois law.

A statutory summary suspension automatically starts 46 days after you get a notice. The suspension can last from six months for a first offense with a BAC of over 0.08, 12 months if you refuse to take a chemical test, and to up to three years for recurring offenses.

Petitioning for a court to rescind your license suspension can be difficult. Since it is separate from any DUI charges or punishments, you must fight the suspension separately. Speak with an attorney to make sure that you file the petition correctly.

Losing your driving privileges can make your life difficult. If police didn’t follow proper procedures before suspending your license, you can petition the court to let you keep driving.