(217) 528-2183

725 South 4th Street, Springfield, IL, United States

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:

  • A blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more
  • Any trace of impairing drugs in your bloodstream
  • Failure to complete a chemical test (blood, breath, or urine)
  • Refusal to test for alcohol or drugs


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:

  • Were you properly arrested?
  • Was there a valid reason to pull you over? 
  • Were there reasonable grounds to believe you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol?
  • Did you refuse to submit to chemical testing?
  • Did your chemical test reveal a BAC of .08% or more, or any trace of marijuana or a controlled substance?
  • Were you involved in a car accident involving personal injury or death?


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. 

DUI defense - The Basics

DUI Defense Definition of Driving Under the Influence

Here are some basics to remember in the event you are pulled over and suspected of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol.


  • Do have your insurance and drivers license in a place that is convenient to reach. This is the first thing the officer will ask for in most cases. If you fumble trying to find it, they will note that in your police report as an indication of impairment.
  • Don't Blow! It is not against the law to refuse the breath test. It will, however, likely result in a notice of Statutory Summary Suspension. And, Depending on how many DUIs you have had, the time-frame varies on how long your driver's license will be suspended. BUT, there's good news! It will be more difficult to prove the DUI, which will allow you to avoid a License Revocation. If you license is revoked, you will have to petition the Secretary of State to get it back.  Naturally, a suspension is preferred because you will automatically be allowed to drive (after paying a fee) after the suspension has expired. 
  • Don't perform field sobriety tests such as the walk and turn and one leg stand. Again, it is not against the law to refuse. So don't volunteer evidence that could help convict you.
  • Don't admit to drinking!
  • Do be polite! Don't get angry because you are likely on video and being recorded.  Anger and frustration is a sign of someone who is under the influence.  This rule applies even after being arrested.
  • Do call a lawyer shortly after the arrest because you will need to file documents with the Court. You will likely need to petition the Court to Rescind the Statutory Suspension. The paperwork you receive at the arrest should inform you that you have a limited amount of time to petition for a statutory summary suspension hearing. Your attorney will need time to prepare for hearing on that issue.
  • Do understand that your license will likely automatically be suspended even without a conviction approximately 45 days after you were arrested.

 

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

  • Minimum revocation of driving privileges for 1 year (2 years if driver is under age 21)
  • Suspension of vehicle registration. 
  • If committed with a BAC of .16 or more — In addition to any penalties or fines,mandatory minimum fine of $500 and mandatory minimum 100 hours of com-munity service.
  • If committed while transporting a childunderage16—Inadditiontoanypenalties or fines, possible imprisonment of up to 6 months, mandatory minimum fine of $1,000 and 25 days of community service in a program benefiting children.
  • If committed while transporting a child under age 16 and involved in a crash that resulted in bodily harm to the child (Aggravated DUI); Class 4 felony — In addition to any other criminal or administrative sanctions, mandatory fine of $2,500 and 25 days of community service in a program benefiting children.
  • 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

  • Mandatory minimum imprisonment of 5 days or 240 hours of community service
  • Revocation of driving privileges for a minimum of 5 years for a second conviction within 20 years
  • Suspension of vehicle registration.
  • If committed with a BAC of .16 or more — In addition to any penalties or fines, mandatory imprisonment of 2 days and mandatory minimum fine of $1,250.
  • If committed while transporting a child under age 16 (Aggravated DUI); Class 4 felony.
  • If committed while transporting a child under age 16 and involved in a crash that resulted in bodily harm to the child (Aggravated DUI); Class 2 felony — In addition to any other criminal or administrative sanctions, mandatory fine of $5,000 and 25 days of community service in a program benefiting children. ​
  • 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.

  

DUI Defense Challenging the statutory summary suspension (SSS)

Failing Chemical Testing


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).

Refusing Chemical Testing


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).

Criminal penalties  1st & 2nd offenses

DUI Defense refusing or failing breath tests