Illinois DUI Suspension Law

In if a person is charged with DUI there can be an automatic suspension of drivers license.

46 days after the driver receives a Notice of Summary Suspension, their license will be suspended as follows:

In Illinois law drivers are placed into two categories: First Offender and Non-First Offender. As silly as it may seem, a person may have 10 DUI convictions and still be a :"First Offender" In Illinois, a person who has not had a DUI supervision or conviction for the past five years, or has not been suspended for DUI in the past five years is considered a "First Offender" for suspension purposes. It does not matter how many past DUIs they have had, it matters whether they had a DUI within the past 5 years.

First Offender

If the person has not had a DUI or DUI reduced to Reckless Driving or a DUI based suspension within 5 years, and they take the breathalyzer and fail. the suspension is 6 months, and if they refuse to take the breathalyzer the suspension is 12 months. All First Offenders may apply to the Secretary of State to obtain a Monitored Device Driving Permit to allow them to drive during the entire suspension period.

Non First Offender

If the person has not had a DUI or DUI reduced to Reckless Driving or a DUI based suspension within 5 years, then the suspension length would be 12 months for failing the breathalyzer and 3 years for refusing the breathalyzer, and the person could not apply to the Secretary of State for a Monitored Device Driving Permit to to drive during the suspension with a BAIID device in their car.

The one exception to this suspension schedule is if during a DUI arrest if the police officer finds there is a traffic crash and someone is carried from the scene, has broken bones or severe bleeding, or has died (this is called a Type A injury), and takes the breathalyzer and fails or refuses to take the test, then the drivers license can be suspended when the officer files a TRAFFIC CRASH SWORN REPORT. If this document is filed, the driver must petition the Secretary of State (not the court) for a restricted driving permit. The driver also may challenge the suspension at the Secretary of State offices if they believe a Type A injury did not occur. There is no other driving relief available for Traffic Crash suspensions.

In many cases where there is a hospital blood draw after a driver refuses to take the breathalyzer, an officer may indicate that the driver refused to take the breathalyzer resulting in the longer suspension. This is because refusal of any requested test is considered a refusal, even if the driver takes other tests after refusing. Refusal of any one test (blood, breath or urine) is considered a refusal which will extend any suspension lengths.

To determine which suspension you have always have a professional review your paperwork after a DUI arrest.


Ray Flavin, Attorney at Law, Woodstock, Illinois

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