Reinstating Your Drivers License After DUI

If you have been accused DUI in Illinois, your license was most likely subject to a Statutory Summary Suspension period by the Secretary of State.

What Is A Statutory Summary Suspension?

Statutory Summary Suspension is a statute (or written law) that went into effect on July 1st, 2011, in an effort to impose more penalties on Illinois drivers suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  It is define as:

The withdrawal by the Secretary of State of a person’s license or privilege to operate a motor vehicle on the public highways for the periods provided in Section 6-208.1.

(625 ILCS 5/1-197.5) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 1-203.1)

What this means is that if you are arrested on suspicion of DUI, your driver’s license will automatically be suspended.  The suspension will go into effect on the 46th day after your DUI arrest.

Notice of Statutory Summary Suspension

You will receive a Notice of Summary Suspension from the arresting officer notifying you of the date that the suspension will go into effect.  The Notice will also inform you of the length of your suspension, which is based on whether you voluntarily submitted to a chemical test (for example, breathalyzer, blood test or urine test) or not.

The basis for this withdrawal of driving privileges shall be the individual’s refusal to submit to or failure to complete a chemical test or tests following an arrest for the offense of driving under the influence of alcohol, other drugs, or intoxicating compounds, or any combination thereof, or submission to such a test or tests indicating an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more as provided in Section 11-501.1 of this Code.

(625 ILCS 5/1-197.5) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 1-203.1)

If you submit to and fail these tests – meaning that your blood alcohol level is 0.08 or higher – your license will be suspended for 6 months.

If you refuse to submit to a test of your blood alcohol level, your license will be suspended for 12 months.

At the time of testing, you have the right to request an independent blood test, which may help your defense if there are discrepancies.

Can You Be Forced To Undergo Chemical Testing?

Although driving on public roadways gives implied consent that you will follow all laws and submit to chemical testing if suspected of DUI, People v. Jones, 214 Ill. 2d 187, 199-200 (2005) issued the following ruling:

For purposes of clarification, our holding in this case does not give law enforcement officers unbridled authority to order and conduct chemical tests. We do not suggest that a DUI arrestee’s lack of a right to refuse chemical testing under section 11-501.2(c)(2) permits law enforcement officers to use physical force in obtaining blood, urine, and breath samples. The Vehicle Code already eliminates any advantage a DUI arrestee might hope to gain from refusing chemical testing.

What If You Pass Chemical Testing?

Even if you pass a chemical test, you may still be arrested.  Passing a chemical test does not prove your innocence, just as a failed test does not prove your guilt.

Field sobriety tests may also show a driver’s physiological or mental impairment.  However, field sobriety tests and the administering officer’s observations are often challenged in court as subjective judgments which the officer may not be medically qualified to make.

Getting Your Statutory Summary Suspension Rescinded

Within 90 days after you have been served a Notice Of Summary Suspension, you may petition the Secretary of State to rescind your suspension by filing a Petition to Rescind the Statutory Summary Suspension.  This petition will ask you to indicate the reason you are asking the court to rescind your Statutory Summary Suspension.

  • I was not properly placed under arrest for an offense as defined in 625 ILCS 5/11-501 of the Illinois vehicle Code (Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol/Drugs) or a similar provision of a local ordinance, as evidenced by the issuance of a Uniform Traffic Ticket to other form of charge
  • The arresting officer did not have reasonable grounds to believe that I was driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or other drugs, or a combination thereof
  • I was not properly warned by the arresting officer as provided in 625 ILCS 5/11-501.1(c) of the Illinois Vehicle Code
  • I did not refuse to submit to and/or complete the required chemical test or tests, pursuant to 625 ILCS 5/11-501.1 (d) of the Illinois Vehicle Code, upon the request of the arresting officer
  • I submitted to the requested test or tests but the test sample of my blood alcohol concentration did not indicate a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more

Reinstatement of Driver’s License After Statutory Summary Suspension

After the end of Statutory Summary Suspension, you driver’s license may be reinstated unless the court instructs the Secretary of State to do otherwise.

The following criteria must be met before your license is restored:

  • You must have no other active suspensions or revocations on your driving record
  • You have no other outstanding DUI arrests or driving offenses of any kind
  • Resolve all criminal charges
  • Present proof of valid car insurance
  • You must pay a $250 reinstatement fee to the Secretary of State
  • If you are a repeat offender, the reinstatement fee is $500

Reinstatement of Driver’s License After DUI Conviction

If you were convicted of DUI, you may only get your license back after completing all of the actions or penalties assigned to you by the judge.  You must also meet these criteria:

  • You have no other outstanding DUI arrests or driving offenses
  • Resolve all criminal charges
  • Present proof of valid car insurance
  • Undergo an alcohol/drug evaluation.  Based on the results, you may be required to enter into a rehabilitation program and provide proof of successful completion
  • Complete a alcohol/drug remedial education program, even if your alcohol/drug evaluation did not recommend rehabilitation or treatment
  • Appear at a Secretary of State hearing and demonstrate that you are no longer a threat to public safety.  It is advisable that you have your attorney present, as you may be asked up too 100 difficult, probing questions.
  • Pay a $500 reinstatement fee
  • Pass written, vision, and driving tests and pay the driver’s license application fee

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