A Guide to DUI License Suspensions
A person charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Illinois can lose his/her license before even going to court for his/her DUI case. This is caused by something called a “statutory summary suspension,” which is an automatic suspension of driving privileges that is triggered when a person fa
How Can My License be Suspended Before My DUI Case?Statutory summary suspensions are authorized by law under 625 ILCS 5/11-501.1, which lists the circumstances when a statutory summary suspension can be instated.
The first way that a driver may get a statutory summary suspension is if s/he fails a chemical test. A driver fails a chemical test if the test indicated that the driver is intoxicated above the legal limit (e.g. .08 blood alcohol content, 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of whole blood, 10 nanograms of THC per milliliter of another bodily substance, or a trace amount of other drugs (including some medications)).
The second way a driver may receive a statutory summary suspension is if s/he refuses to submit to chemical testing.
How Long Is the Suspension?The length of a statutory summary suspension will depend on whether the driver failed or refused to take a chemical test.
If the driver failed, but voluntarily took, a chemical test, then his/her license will be suspended for six months for a first offense and one year for any subsequent offenses that happen within five years of the first.
If the driver refused to submit to chemical testing, then his/her license will be suspended for a year for a first offense and three years for any subsequent offenses that happen within five years of the first. Even though the repercussions for not submitting to a breathalyzer are higher, refusing to take a chemical test may help in your DUI defense and at a summary suspension hearing.
How Can I Fight the Suspension?Fighting a summary suspension is very time sensitive. A driver may petition the court to rescind (lift) a statutory summary suspension within a specified time frame. Once the time frame has passed, the statutory summary suspension will remain in effect until the terms of the suspension are satisfied.
A driver who receives a statutory summary suspension should retain an attorney as soon as possible, as these hearings are very time sensitive.