DUI Penalties in Illinois: Focusing on Statutory Summary Suspension

DUI Penalties in IllinoisThe Illinois Secretary of State orders a statutory summary suspension on an individual’s driving privileges in the state. This administrative action take place in the event a DUI suspect fails the chemical sobriety test or doesn’t want to do the test.

What Exactly is a Statutory Summary Suspension?

First off, note that this civil penalty is completely independent and separate from the offense of DUI. An individual could still win a not guilty plea, but have to face penalties with a summary suspension between six and 36 months. This is because the main issue is that an individual either refused or failed the standard chemical tests.

Like other states, Illinois mandates the implied consent law. This means that if a suspect drives on any of the state’s public highways under the influence of illegal substances, they automatically consent to urine, breath, or blood testing for an 0.08% or higher alcohol concentration or illegal drugs. Even if the suspect did not explicitly agree to the testing, as the name of the law implies, consent is automatic any time they drive in Illinois. In short, every single driver in Illinois who refuses or fails the standard testing is subject to summary suspension regardless if they are guilty of DUI or not.

How to Fight a Statutory Summary Suspension

DUI suspects could challenge a summary suspension by requesting for a trial. However, while a DUI suspect could petition to challenge the suspension on their own, DUI lawyers in Springfield, IL doesn't recommend this because challenging a suspension is subject to complicated laws. For instance, a first DUI offender could be eligible for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP). This allows offenders to drive anywhere and at any time, considering that their BAC level doesn’t exceed 0.05% while driving. 

A repeat DUI offender won’t be eligible for MDDP, on the other hand, but could negotiate sentencing terms with help from a lawyer. That said, petitioning for the challenge of summary suspension is a crucial stage in any DUI case so legal aid is strongly recommended.

Apart from relying in your lawyer, know what's involved in your state's DUI case. This is so you can still fight for your rights in court — guilty or not.