After a driver has been arrested for DUI, the police officer will confiscate his or her driver's license. Soon after, the officer will prepare a report and present the driver with a copy of it entitled “Notice of Summary Suspension". This notice states that, after 46 days, the Illinois Secretary of State will enter a suspension. In some cases, a person's driver's license may only be suspended for six months, where in other cases a license may be suspended for up to three years. Nearly all drivers will face a statutory summary suspension for failing or refusing a breath or blood test.
A Statutory Summary Suspension is an administrative process wherein one's license is suspended following arrest for a DUI and failing or refusing chemical testing (breath, blood or urine testing) used to determine one's blood alcohol or breath alcohol concentration or the presence of an intoxicating or illegal substance.
Understanding License Suspensions
Different license suspension penalties apply depending upon whether a driver fails or refuses chemical testing, as well as whether it is his or her first, second or subsequent offense:
- Refusing a Breath or Blood Test
- First offense: 12-month license suspension
- Second offense (within 5 years): 36-month license suspension
- Failing a Breath or Blood Test
- First offense: 6-month license suspension
- Second offense (within 5 years): 12-month license suspension
Although people are still permitted to drive during the 45-day period before the suspension goes into effect, their licenses will ultimately end up being suspended unless they challenge the suspension at a Summary Suspension Hearing. To challenge a suspension, drivers must file a petition with the Clerk of the Circuit Court where the case will be heard. However, it's important for people to file this petition as soon as possible. Drivers only have 90 days to file their petition; failure to do so will waive their right to challenge their suspension.
Why should I contact a Chicago DUI lawyer?
Aggressive, knowledgeable representation by a skilled attorney is a must during Summary Suspension proceedings. According to the Illinois Secretary of State website, in 2004 92% of drivers arrested for DUI who failed or refused chemical testing, had their licenses suspended. Your attorney will need to understand the exact procedure for challenging a DUI suspension and will need to work hard to help you avoid this consequence.
If your license was suspended during or after a DUI arrest in Cook County, an attorney at our office can provide you with the experienced legal counsel you need. At Fagan, Fagan & Davis, we have represented thousands of clients at summary suspension hearings, and are very familiar with this legal procedure. We will work hard to ensure compelling evidence is presented on your behalf, and we will vigorously contest any evidence submitted by the prosecution. Furthermore, we will also question whether the police officer had probable cause to place you under arrest in the first place. Call our offices to discuss the circumstances that led to your arrest and to determine how we can defend your case.