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Navigating License Suspension After a DUI Arrest: Keeping You on the Road

On Behalf of | Apr 28, 2024 | DUI |

Being arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) can result in immediate and severe repercussions on one’s driving privileges in Illinois. If you have been arrested for impaired driving in the Land of Lincoln, understanding the legal options available may empower you to effectively maintain your driving privileges and avoid a license suspension moving forward. 

In Illinois, a DUI arrest typically triggers a statutory summary suspension of an affected motorist’s driver’s license. This is an automatic administrative action taken by the Illinois Secretary of State, separate from criminal charges. The suspension begins on the 46th day after the arrest notice and can last from six months to three years, depending on prior offenses and whether a driver failed or refused chemical testing.

Fighting back

If you are facing a license suspension of this kind, one of the first steps your lawyer can take is to challenge the statutory summary suspension. This involves filing a petition for a judicial hearing, which must be requested within 90 days of the arrest. At this hearing, your attorney can argue issues such as the legality of the traffic stop, the arrest and the accuracy or procedures of the chemical testing. Successfully contesting the suspension at this hearing can result in the restoration of driving privileges pending the outcome of the DUI case. If this effort is not successful, there are other avenues to explore. 

For first-time DUI offenders, Illinois law allows the issuance of a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP). This permit enables an eligible driver to operate vehicles fitted with a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID), which prevents the vehicle from starting if alcohol is detected in a driver’s breath. While it isn’t an ideal setup, it can keep you on the road if you’re eligible for this opportunity. 

For repeat offenders and those who do not qualify for an MDDP, applying for a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP) might be an option. This permit allows driving under restricted conditions, such as to and from work, during specific hours. Obtaining an RDP involves a hearing before the Secretary of State, where your attorney can present evidence of hardship, rehabilitation efforts and the necessity of maintaining or restoring your driving privileges.

As you navigate your DUI case, keep in mind that an experienced DUI lawyer can thoroughly investigate the circumstances of your arrest, challenge any procedural errors and scrutinize the evidence presented by the prosecution. They can then build the strongest possible defense under the circumstances accordingly, and help to keep you on the road moving forward.