If you've been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in the state of Illinois while on any public roadway, you'll find a Notice of Statutory Summary Suspension or Revocation of your driver's license in the paperwork the officer gave you.
What is an Illinois Statutory Summary Suspension or Revocation?
A statutory summary suspension or revocation provides for the automatic suspension or revocation of driving privileges in Illinois when a driver is arrested for DUI and then "fails", refuses to submit to, or fails to complete chemical testing. Statutory summary suspension or revocation takes effect on the 46th day after the date of the suspension notice - usually, but not always, right after the arrest. This suspension or revocation does not replace criminal penalties for a DUI or result from a conviction.
What is a "fail" in a test for alcohol?
Illinois tests for alcohol in DUI settings by measuring breath or blood testing. Failure of breath or blood testing means a person's breath alcohol concentration (BAC) was 0.08 percent or more. This is a bright line rule in Illinois. The limit has changed over the years from 0.15, to 0.10, then in the 1990s to 0.08. If 0.08 seems artificially low, it is. The limit was intentionally meant to err on the side of catching and prosecuting more people for DUI.
What is a "fail" in a blood or urine test for drugs?
In Illinois, blood and urine can be used to measure the presence and possibly the amount of drugs in a motorist's system. In some cases, the mere presence of an illegal drug like cocaine, or its metabolite - the substance left over after the body has processed the drug - in blood or urine is enough to trigger a suspension and prosecution. In the case of cannabis, in Illinois, there is a threshold level in the blood that must be measured from blood taken within a specific amount of time of driving or physical control of the vehicle. Because analysis of blood tests take time, if you submitted to blood testing, you may not have received a Statutory Summary Suspension, because the results are not yet known. In that case, the police are allowed by law to send notice in the mail once they learn of the result.
Why a Statutory Summary Revocation?
Illinois law requires the Statutory Summary Revocation in the case of where a driver arrested for DUI "fails", refuses to submit to, or fails to complete chemical testing, just like suspension, but with one differentiating factor. In this case, the motorist arrested for DUI must have caused, in the commission of that DUI, death or "type A" personal injury to another person. Not every type of injury qualifies for a "type A" injury.
Can the Suspension or Revocation be challenged?
In both cases of Statutory Summary Suspension or Statutory Summary Revocation, Illinois law has rested authority to hear challenges in the same Court that will hear your DUI case. These are separate proceedings started by filing something called a Petition to Rescind. Filing that Petition does not delay the start of the Suspension or Revocation, and it's an all or nothing contest - meaning you either win and the suspension or revocation are "rescinded" or not. There is no provision under the law for a judge to issue an order to shorten the suspension or revocation.
Can I get a permit?
If you have not had a statutory summary suspension or revocation, or been sentenced for a DUI within the past five years, and are over 21 years old, you are most likely eligible to receive a permit called an MDDP (a Monitoring Device Driving Permit) for a suspension (not a revocation). This requires installation and use of a monitoring device called a BAIID. The cost is typically significantly less than paying for taxis, Uber or Lyft rides, and in most cases a great deal more convenient than public transportation. An MDDP is available immediately upon suspension.
How long will I be suspended?
The length of your suspension depends on a number of factors. One is whether you submitted to testing which resulted in a "fail" or refused testing, and the other is whether you are a "first offender" under Illinois law for purposes of the suspension/revocation law. You are a "first offender" for purposes of this part of DUI law if you have not been sentenced for DUI or received a statutory suspension/revocation within the immediate past 5 years. This has no bearing on how you are treated for purposes of criminal penalties.
Failing Chemical Testing
- First offense—Suspension of driving privileges for six months with eligibility for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP).
- Second or subsequent offense within five years—Suspension of driving privileges for one year with no eligibility for an MDDP.
Refusing to Submit to Chemical Testing
- First offense—Suspension of driving privileges for 12 months with eligibility for a MDDP.
Second or subsequent offense within five years—Suspension of driving privileges for three years with no MDDP. A law enforcement officer in Illinois is required to request a chemical test when there is probable cause to suspect DUI is a factor when a crash results in personal injury or death. A driver who refuses to submit to such testing will have their driving privileges revoked for a minimum of one year.
Illinois CDL licensees face special consequences and can learn more by visiting Illinois DUI and your CDL. Other special circumstances also exist that require special care like those who hold a Pilot's License (other than a Sport Pilot License) from the FAA, maritime licensing, a Locomotive Engineer's License or Remote Control Operator, those who hold professional licensing and in other situations.
The attorneys at Fagan, Fagan & Davis have vast experience in challenging statutory summary suspension and statutory summary revocation in Illinois throughout Chicago area courts, including those located in Cook County, DuPage County and Lake County. Contact us now for a free consultation.