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Understanding a DUI and a Statutory Summary Suspension

Other than the possibility of going to jail, a motorist arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs may be most concerned that the police will take his or her driving privileges away.

If a law enforcement officer stops you on suspicion of DUI and requests that you submit to chemical testing, you may consider refusing. If you do, you put yourself in Statutory Summary Suspension territory.

What it means

If a law enforcement officer arrests you on suspicion of DUI and you refuse to take a chemical test to determine your blood alcohol content level, you are looking at a 12- to 36-month driver's license suspension.

Alternatively, if you agree to testing, which shows that your BAC level is 0.08 percent or above due to the consumption of a drug, substance or intoxicating compound, you will lose your license for six to 12 months. If you receive a DUI conviction and are a first offender, the state will revoke your driving privileges for one year.

However, it is important to remember that even if you submit to a test and fail, you may still have options available. For instance, your lawyer can file a petition to fight, and possibly rescind, your Statutory Summary Suspension. In fact, there are several circumstances in which a rescission is possible, including situations involving:

  • Unreasonable suspicion
  • Defective breath test results
  • Defective blood test results
  • Improper warnings

Ending the suspension

When the minimum period of your Statutory Summary Suspension concludes, you can pay the reinstatement fee of $250 to get your license back. There are two things to keep in mind, however.

First, during the suspension, your license will remain with the court in which the judge heard your case, and that is where you will retrieve it. Second, your license reinstatement will only become effective after the appropriate DUI notation is made to your record. In Illinois, an alcohol or drug offense stays on your record for life.

Driving relief

As a first offender, you might qualify for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit. This means that the court may approve the installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. However, there may be a reason to dismiss your DUI charge altogether or at least reduce the penalties. Be sure to explore all your legal options if you are facing a Statutory Summary Suspension for driving under the influence.

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