Illinois Statutory Summary Suspension Law
Aside from the criminal penalties that are involved with a DUI conviction in Illinois, a DUI conviction carries with it several collateral consequences. Collateral consequences are penalties that occur as a result of the DUI conviction but are not imposed by the court. The most important of these collateral consequences in an Illinois DUI case is the suspension or revocation of the DUI offender’s driver’s license. However, under Illinois DUI laws consequences to a person’s driver’s license occurs even before a finding of guilty. In fact, under the DUI laws of Illinois a person’s driver’s license can be suspended even if the person beats the DUI case and is found not guilty of the DUI charge.
Like most states, Illinois has an implied consent statute that requires anyone driving on a highway within the State to submit to a breath or chemical testing if a police officer has probable cause to believe that the person was under the influence of alcohol or a drug. Refusing the test requested by the police officer will result in a statutory summary suspension of the person’s driving privilege.
The statutory summary suspension law in Illinois can feel like another penalty aside from the criminal penalties that you face following an arrest for a DUI in Illinois. The worst part about the statutory summary suspension law is that the suspension of your driver’s license takes affect even before you are found guilty of the DUI. This violation of your constitutional rights is allowed under the guise that a summary suspension is not a criminal penalty but a civil issue and the statutory summary suspension of your driver’s license is a valid means for the government to gather evidence.
How Can You Avoid a Statutory Summary Suspension?
The statutory summary suspension law in Illinois allows a method to avoid a summary suspension. However, because the statutory summary suspension is civil in nature you do not enjoy a presumption of innocence and the State does not have to prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Instead, you have to prove that your driver’s license was improperly suspended under the statutory summary suspension law. In order to be successful, the person contesting the summary suspension must establish by a preponderance of the evidence one of 5 things:
- The police officer did not properly issue a citation for a DUI offense
- That the police officer did not have probable cause to believe that the driver was operating a motor vehicle while under the influence
- The police officer did not read the Warnings to Motorists prior to administering the evidentiary breath test
- The alcohol content in your blood, breath, or urine was under the legal limit
- That you did not refuse to submit to the evidentiary tests requested by the police officer
What is the Basis for the Illinois Statutory Summary Suspension?
The Illinois statutory summary suspension law is based upon Illinois’s implied consent laws. Implied consent is a legal fiction that states that anyone who drives on a public road in Illinois has agreed to provide a breath, blood, or urine sample if requested by a police officer that has reasonable suspicion to believe that you are under the influence. Refusing to provide the requested sample will result in your license being suspended under the statutory suspension law. However, if you do provide a sample that is over the legal limit then you also face a statutory summary suspension.
When Does the Summary Suspension Take Effect?
Under the Illinois statutory summary suspension law, the Secretary of State will suspend your driver’s license on the 46th day after being served with a notice of summary suspension, which is typically the day of your arrest. However, the suspension is not automatic and an experienced Illinois DUI attorney can fight the summary suspension by filing a petition to rescind summary suspension challenging the basis of the suspension. However, time is of the essence under Illinois’s statutory summary suspension law. The petition to rescind must be filed in the circuit court within 90 days after being served with the notice of summary suspension. A court will not consider untimely petitions.
What is the Length of the Suspension Under the Statutory Summary Suspension Law?
The length of your statutory summary suspension depends on your driving background. The definition of a first-time DUI offender is different then what the definition is for a first-time DUI offender in the context of the criminal penalties available for an Illinois DUI. For the purpose of the statutory summary suspension law, a first-time DUI offender is anyone who has not been arrested for a DUI within the last 5 years. In the context of sentencing, a prior DUI is an aggravating factor regardless of when the prior DUI occurred.
First-time DUI offenders face a shorter statutory summary suspension period compared with non first-time DUI offenders. First-time DUI offenders in Illinois face a statutory summary suspension period of 6 months, if they provide a breath sample or submit to chemical testing. Anyone that refuses to submit to the testing requested by the police officer faces a statutory summary suspension of 1-year. First-time DUI offenders are also eligible to participate in the MDDP/BAIID program. The MDDP/BAIID program allows a first time DUI offender to drive during the statutory summary suspension period.
Anyone with a prior DUI faces a different statutory suspension period. DUI offenders that are not first-time DUI offenders face a statutory summary suspension of 1-year if they provide a breath sample over the legal limit. DUI offenders that refuse, face a statutory summary suspension for 3 years. Additionally, a person who is not a first-time a DUI offender is not eligible to participate in the MDDP/BAIID program.
MDDP and BAIID Program
The MDDP and BAIID program in Illinois allows first-time DUI offenders to drive during their statutory summary suspension period. Under the Illinois BAIID program, a first-time DUI offender is able to drive during the summary suspension if the DUI offender gets a monitoring device driving permit (MDDP). The MDDP requires the installation of a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID). The BAIID device requires the driver to submit a breath sample before the driving a car. Once the BAIID device is installed you can drive the vehicle with the BAIID at anytime and anywhere.
Who is Ineligible to Receive a BAIID Device?
- A driver under the age of 18 is not eligible to participate in the MDDP program or have a BAIID installed in his or her car
- An offender is ineligible for an MDDP and a BAIID device if his or her driver’s license is otherwise invalid
- An offender is ineligible for an MDDP and a BAIID device if death or great bodily harm resulted to anyone as a result of the DUI
- An offender is ineligible for an MDDP and a BAIID device if he or she has previously been convicted of reckless homicide or an aggravated DUIthat resulted in a death.
- An offender is ineligible for an MDDP and a BAIID device if the person is not a first-time DUI offender for the purposes of the statutory summary suspension law
Can I Opt of the MDDP Program and not have a BAIID Installed?
Anyone who is eligible for a BAIID device has the option to opt out of the MDDP program and not have a BAIID installed in his or her car. However, opting out of the BAIID program comes with severe consequences if you are caught driving during the statutory summary suspension. Driving during a statutory summary suspension can be a Class 4 felony, which is punishable by 1-3 years of imprisonment.
What is a Hard Suspension?
Although Illinois DUI law allows first-time DUI offenders unfettered driving privileges in a car installed with a BAIID, driving privileges are not restored immediately. Under Illinois DUI law, the MDDP does not go into effect and a person cannot have a BAIID installed until the 31st day of the statutory summary suspension. This initial 30-day period of the statutory summary suspension is referred to as a “hard suspension” because during that period you are not allowed to drive.