Written by attorney Mitchell Scott Sexner

Winning the statutory summary suspension in Illinois

When a person is arrested for DUI on a public roadway, one of the most immediate consequences is the imposition of the Statutory Summary Suspension which begins on the 46th day after the arrest. A Statutory Summary Suspension is an administrative therefore civil action taken by the Secretary of State as a result of a person refusing or submitting to a chemical test after being arrested for DUI. Under the present laws, if a person refuses to submit to chemical testing they then face a 1 year period of suspension if they are a “first offender" as defined by statute. If a person submits to chemical testing and has an alcohol concentration of .08 or higher, then they then face a 6 month period of suspension. If a person is not a “first offender" as defined by law then the suspension periods are much longer.

You can contest a Statutory Summary Suspension by filing a Petition to Rescind, but you must do so within 90 days of being served notice of the Statutory Summary Suspension in order to preserve your right to a hearing. After you file a Petition to Rescind, the State must grant you a hearing within 30 days of the filing of the petition or the first court date, unless there’s an agreement to waive/toll the timeline.

A hearing on the Statutory Summary Suspension is civil in nature and the burden is on the Petitioner (meaning you) to shift the burden to the State. You can request a rescission of suspension based on the following limited grounds provided by statute: 1. Whether you were lawfully and properly placed under arrest for the offense of DUI or a similar local ordinance; 2. Whether the arresting officer had reasonable grounds to believe you were driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs or a combination; 3. That you were not properly warned by the arresting officer of the Warning to Motorist as required by law; 4. That you did not refuse to submit and/or complete chemical testing upon the request of the officer; 5. That you submitted to chemical testing but the testing did not indicate an alcohol concentration of .08 or more. If you are able to prevail on any one of these grounds then rescission is necessary and warranted. There is one other basis that can result in rescission and that is if your arrest occurred on private property. You can still be charged and arrested for DUI while on private property but a Statutory Summary Suspension cannot be applied.

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If you, a family member or friend has been charged with any criminal or traffic matter, we urge you to contact an experienced attorney. Such an attorney will carefully evaluate your case and explain the legal options available to you at no charge.

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