Greg W. Sronce
If you were arrested for DUI, you likely received a notice of a statutory summary suspension (SSS), meaning your license will be suspended automatically on the 46th day after the arrest or receiving notice.
A statutory summary suspension is an administrative suspension of your driving privileges as a result of a DUI arrest involving:
As stated above, a statutory summary suspension is effective the 46th day from the date you received notice and the SSS is separate from other criminal charges. Driving relief is available to first offenders after the first 30 days of suspension. In order to obtain relief, a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) must be installed.
Challenging the SSS in Court - Drivers have the right to request a hearing in the trial Court to challenge a SSS. You have 90 days from the notice date to requesting a hearing. After 90 days, you lose your right to challenge the SSS. And, the State has 30 days to respond to and conduct a hearing on your petition. After 30 days, they lose their right and you may "default" the issue and win. Assuming neither party defaults, the issues at a statutory summary suspension hearing will include the following:
It is important that your attorney understands the importance of challenging the Statutory Summary Suspension and the issues that are at play in those hearings. Often, the hearing may highlight some of the weaknesses in the State's criminal case depending on your performance on the field sobriety tests, the reason for the stop, if any bad driving was witnessed, etc. In some cases, the suspension can be lifted short of going through a litigated hearing. Attorney Sronce has successfully challenged statutory summary suspensions.
Here are some basics to remember in the event you are pulled over and suspected of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol.
Every case is unique depending on several factors including, your driving record, your BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration), the reason or probable cause for the police to stop your vehicle, and the facts surrounding the arrest for DUI.
First Conviction - Class A misdemeanor
Assuming no injuries or crash, a typical DUI disposition for a first offender could range from Court Supervision(avoiding a revoked license) or possibly an amendment from DUI to some other offense such as reckless driving. It is important to note that a DUI that has been amended to Reckless driving will be tantamount to supervision in that you will not be eligible to receive Court supervision on a future DUI. And, while Supervision will avoid a revocation, you will likely still need to address the Statutory Summary Suspension that resulted from the DUI arrest.
Second Conviction - Class A misdemeanor
Because you cannot receive supervision on a second DUI, it is critical to defend against a conviction as a DUI conviction will revoke your drivers license. A revocation requires an administrative hearing to be conducted at the Secretary of State. This is expensive and time consuming. Depending on the circumstances of the arrest and depending on what physical evidence the State has against you, the case could be ripe for an amendment away from DUI allowing you to avoid a revocation.
Driving Under the Influence is defined as operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol, other drugs including cannabis (marijuana) prescribed for medical purposes,or intoxicating compounds and methamphetamine. In Illinois, a driver is legally considered to be under the influence if he/she has a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or more, has used any illegal substance or is impaired by medication.
First offense — Suspension of driving privileges for 6 months (eligible for MDDP on 31st day of suspension).
Second or subsequent offense within 5 years — Suspension of driving privileges for 1 year (not eligible for driving relief).
First offense — Suspension of driving privileges for 12 months (eligible for MDDP on 31st day of suspension).
Second or subsequent offense — Suspension of driving privileges for 3 years (not eligible for driving relief).