DUIs and Statutory Summary Suspensions

Ray Flavin, Attorney at Law Profile Image

Ray Flavin, Attorney at Law

Woodstock, IL

Practice Areas

DUI and DWI

The Illinois legislature had provided different requirements for being charged with a DUI (Driving under the Influence) charge, and a Statutory Summary Suspension. The law for a DUI charge is found at 625 ILCS 5/11-501. The law for statutory summary suspensions is found at both 625 ILCS 5/11-501.1 and 625 ILCS 5/2-118.1.

To be a charged with DUI a person must be operating a motor vehicle anywhere in the State of Illiinois. Therefore a person could be charged if they were driving a car in a corn field. The person need not be operating a vehicle on a public highway. Also a person could be charged with operating any vehicle which under Illinois law is classified as a vehicle such as a golf cart, ATV, or even a motorized skateboard. There are a couple of exceptions to the "motorized vehicles": boats, and low powered motored bicycles. Of course boats are under their own DUI code found at 625 ILCS 45.

However, a person may only be suspended for taking a breathalyzer or other chemical test and failing, or refusing to take such a test if it can be shown that they were operating a motor vehicle on a highway. So for example if a person were to consume too much alcohol at a bar, walk out to their car, and then drive that car into a ditch before reaching the roadway, then they never operated a vehicle on a public highway, therefore they should not be suspended. Or if the police have filed a Notice of Summary Suspension, then that suspension should be challenged at a hearing pursuant to 625 ILCSS 5/2-118.1, by filing a Petition to Rescind the Statutory Summary Suspension. We can easily see that if that same person makes it out on to a public highway then turns into the next bar down the road, but drives into a ditch, then the suspension would stand. This is because the police will be able to prove that the driver was operating a vehicle on a public highway before placing their vehicle in a ditch. So it matters which way the car is facing in a bar parking lot accident.

For these reasons, a driver may have both a suspension and a DUI, or a DUI with no suspension depending on the facts of the case. Upon receiving a DUI charge the best course of action is to consult a qualified DUI attorney, and get his or her opinion on the case.

Ray Flavin

Attorney at Law

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