Reinstating your Driving Privileges in Illinois

Posted almost 2 years ago. Applies to Illinois, 1 helpful vote

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By Jeffrey R. Hall of Hall & Rustom, LLC In Illinois, whenever you receive a conviction for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, your Illinois driving privileges will be revoked. It is revoked indefinitely unless you formally request reinstatement from the Formal Administrative Hearing office at the Secretary of State. Unfortunately, qualifying to apply for reinstatement depends on how many DUI convictions are on your driving record (or reported to the Illinois Secretary of State). The first DUI conviction reported on your record will result in the loss of your driving privileges for a minimum of 1 (one) year. If you are convicted of a second DUI offense within 20 years, you will lose your driving privileges for a minimum of 5 (five) years. A third DUI conviction will result in the loss of your driving privileges for a minimum of 10 (ten) years. A fourth or subsequent conviction will result in the loss of your driving privileges for life. Most people that apply for reinstatement and proceed to formal hearing without the benefit of any attorney to assist them are rejected. More importantly, most people will misrepresent certain facts that end up hurting them more than helping. It is imperative that you find an attorney with the experience, success, and motivation to advise you through this process to maximize your chances for driving relief. At Hall & Rustom, L.L.C., our attorneys concentrate in this area of law and will be able to assist you through the painstaking process while minimizing your exposure for denial. What is the process to reinstate my driver’s license after I was revoked for DUI? The typical process to reinstate commences by reviewing your driving record to determine whether or not you are eligible for reinstatement. You can determine this by having an informal hearing at the DMV before the local informal hearing officer (an informal hearing is NOT required to obtain reinstatement—only recommended). The informal hearing officer will review your driving record and provide you with a checklist of documentation you will need to obtain. After your informal hearing, it is recommended that you consult an attorney to review your record and determine the proper way to proceed. At Hall & Rustom, L.L.C., we will prepare you from that point and determine: 1) what paperwork you will be required to present at the hearing; 2) whether the paperwork meets the requirements of the hearing officer; 3) what testimony is to be presented at the hearing; 4) how that testimony will be presented; and 5) what to expect from the hearing officer and assistant attorney general when questioning you during the hearing.

As a rule in Illinois, you must be able to present evidence of 1 (one) year of sobriety prior to your hearing. If you are not prepared to present this evidence to the hearing officer, we can request the hearing officer deviate from that rule from 1 year to 6 months instead. However, the hearing officers RARELY deviate from that requirement. Therefore, it is advised that the petitioner refrain from drinking alcohol/using drugs for at least 1 year prior to the hearing.

What paperwork will I need to present at the formal hearing?

The general documentation requirements by the Secretary of State vary depending on the DUI risk classification. After you are arrested and prior to sentencing, you will be required to obtain an alcohol evaluation. This evaluation is given to you by a certified alcohol evaluator licensed by the Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse. This evaluator will determine what risk you are. The risks are: Minimal, Moderate, Significant, and High Risk (dependant or non-dependent). Each risk provides certain criteria you must meet when fulfilling the requirements of your court supervision, conditional discharge, and/or probation. Prior to your hearing, you must obtain an updated alcohol evaluation documenting all DUI offenses and alcohol history. Below are the different requirements set forth by the Secretary of State for each risk:

Due to word-limits, I will only include the requirements for Significant & High Risk:

Significant Risk • If your Uniform Report evaluation or the last updated evaluation is more than six months old at the time of your hearing, you must submit a current updated evaluation.

• An updated evaluation must be completed by the agency that completed Your Uniform Report evaluation or by the agency that completed your treatment.

• Must document successful completion of a DUI Risk Education Course.

• Must document successful completion of any substance abuse treatment recommended by a licensed evaluator or treatment provider, including:

• Copy of the Individualized Treatment Plan.

• Copy of Discharge Summary.

• Copy of Continuing Care Plan.

• Original Continuing Care Status Report.

• If no treatment provided, must submit a treatment waiver. High Risk — Dependent

• If your Uniform Report evaluation or the last updated evaluation is more than six months old at the time of your hearing, you also must submit a current updated evaluation.

• An updated evaluation must be completed by the agency that completed your Uniform Report evaluation or by the agency that completed your treatment.

• Must document on an original Secretary of State treatment verification form, successful completion of any substance abuse treatment recommended by a licensed evaluator or treatment provider, including:

o Copy of Individualized Treatment Plan.

o Copy of Discharge Summary.

o Copy of Continuing Care Plan.

o Original Continuing Care Status Report.

• If no treatment provided, must submit a treatment waiver.

• Must document the establishment of a support/recovery program (Alcoholics Anonymous, church, etc.) and abstinence, by submitting: (In all of the following situations witness testimony is acceptable instead of letters.)

• At least three original letters, signed and dated within 45 days prior to your hearing, from fellow members/participants, verifying your active involvement in your support program.

• If you have a support/recovery program sponsor, an original letter from your sponsor documenting your active involvement in your support program, signed and dated within 45 days prior to your hearing.

• At least three original letters, signed and dated within 45 days prior to your hearing, from individuals (friends, family, etc.) who can verify your abstinence from alcohol/drugs for at least 12 months if seeking reinstatement, but no less than six months for a Restricted Driving Permit. High Risk — Non-Dependent

• If your Uniform Report evaluation or the last updated evaluation is more than six months old at the time of your hearing, you also must submit a current updated evaluation. An updated evaluation must be completed by the agency that completed your Uniform Report evaluation or by the agency that completed your treatment.

• Must document on an original Secretary of State treatment verification form, successful completion of any substance abuse treatment recommended by a licensed evaluator or treatment provider, including:

o Copy of Individualized Treatment Plan.

o Copy of Discharge Summary.

o Copy of Continuing Care Plan.

o Original Continuing Care Status Report.

• If no treatment provided, must submit a treatment waiver.

• Must submit at least three original letters, signed and dated within 45 days prior to the hearing, from individuals (friends, family,etc.) who can verify either your alcohol/drug use pattern or abstinence for at least the last 12 months if seeking reinstatement, but no less than six months for a Restricted Driving Permit. (Witness testimony is acceptable instead of letters.) • Must submit an additional report from the treatment provider explaining why dependency was ruled out and the cause of your behavior that resulted in three or more DUI dispositions. This requirement cannot be waived.

What will happen at the formal hearing? The formal hearings take place at one of four different locations throughout the State of Illinois. These locations are: • Chicago • Joliet • Springfield • Mount Vernon You will meet at the location at your scheduled time and your attorney will provide the assistant Attorney General with the required paperwork. You will then wait to be called for the hearing. Once called, you and your attorney will be taken into a room where the hearing officer and assistant Attorney General are waiting.

While the order of testimony may differ, the common order is:

• The hearing officer will commence the hearing and record. • The assistant Attorney General will submit your driving record into evidence along with the documentation you presented. • After submission, your attorney will question you. • The assistant Attorney General will then question you. • The hearing officer will typically allow for any other comments prior to closing the record. • The hearing will end and the hearing officer will typically notify you of their decision within 90 days. While this process may differ depending on the location, the structure is generally the same. A typical hearing will last between 60 and 90 minutes, depending on the amount of question.

If you have further questions, please visit our website at www.centralillinoislawyers.com and complete our online submission form. Or, you can call our office at 309-699-4691 or email us at how@howlawfirm.com.

Additional Resources

http://www.hallrustom.blogspot.com/2011/12/reinstating-your-driving-privileges-in.html

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