In Illinois, it's illegal for any person 21 years or older to drive a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.08%. Driving while under the influence of alcohol can cause loss of driving privileges, auto insurance rates increase, and even jail time.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 20 people die every day because of car accidents-related caused by alcohol intoxication—which is nearly one person every 51 minutes. The NHTSA reported that 10,511 motorists were killed in alcohol-related accidents in the U.S., in 2018.
The consequences of drunk driving charges vary based on age, state, and blood alcohol concentration. If a driver’s BAC is over the legal limit, they risk having their driver’s license suspended. Having limited driving privileges means you can't drive your vehicle to work, school, or even medical appointments.
If you're facing drunk driving charges in Illinois, the experienced criminal defense lawyers at Naperville DUI Lawyer can help you get your driver's license back after a DUI. To schedule a free initial consultation, contact experienced license reinstatement attorneys today at (630) 425-0250.
To get your driver's license back after drunk driving charges you may need to:
A driver’s license reinstatement is valid after it is entered on your record in the Illinois Secretary of State office.
Typically, for the first DUI, the arresting police officer will take the driver's original driving license and replace it with a provisional license. Refusing to take blood or urine tests, or refusal to take a breathalyzer test at the actual scene of the arrest, can cause automatic suspension. However, this depends on whether the state allows the refusal of these tests. The temporary license usually expires on the court date for your impaired driving case.
Typically, not requesting an administrative hearing results in permanent license suspension, attending the hearing and pleading your case may result in successful license reinstatement. License suspension periods range between three months to one year, depending on how impaired the driver was, whether they had previous DUI convictions and if there was a serious motor vehicle accident.
Further, the required alcohol treatment program varies significantly based on the state and severity of intoxication at DUI arrest. You may need to attend a few hours of substance abuse evaluation. Also, you may be forced to enroll in an alcohol detox and rehabilitation program. While this may seem strict, it’s the nudge people with multiple DUIs to seek treatment for alcohol abuse or addiction.
If you’re arrested for drunk driving in Illinois, your driver’s license may either be suspended or revoked depending on the circumstances of your DUI arrest. The circumstances that lead to these consequences include:
This is an administrative procedure that results in civil consequences of license suspension if a DUI offender fails or refuses a breathalyzer test. If you failed a blood alcohol content test, you’ll be subject to automatic license suspension under the Illinois statutory summary suspension law. Also, your license can be suspended if you don't submit to a breath test. Although the U.S. Supreme Court states you don’t have to consent to a blood test without a valid warrant, you have to submit to a breath test under Illinois's implied consent laws.
Whether you refused to submit to the breath test or blew over the legal alcohol limit, your driving privileges will automatically be suspended on the 46th day following the notice of driver’s license suspension, which may be the day of your DUI arrest. This means that you can drive your vehicle until day 45, but then you’re prohibited behind the wheel until the license suspension is lifted or completed.
Depending on whether this is your first offense or subsequent offense, the length of suspension varies.
Further, it’s essential to note that an automatic suspension differs from criminal punishment. The license suspension may begin before you step foot in court to fight your drunk driving charges. You and your license reinstatement attorney must handle the statutory summary suspension separately from your drunk driving charges. You can fight to have the suspension removed entirely or to be granted limited driving privileges by installing a Monitoring Device Driving Permit in your, which allows you to continue driving with a breath alcohol ignition interlock device.
If you plead guilty to your drunk driving charges or are found guilty in criminal court, you will also be subject to criminal penalties. Criminal penalties vary depending on the actual DUI charge, whether there were aggravating factors and any previous DUIs. Your sentence could include a prison sentence, a fine, community service, probation, enrollment in a program, and other criminal penalties.
Criminal penalties for a drunk driving conviction often include license suspension for a period of time.
If you’re a first-time DUI offender, you may have the chance to continue to drive instead of having your license suspended. You and your DUI criminal defense attorney can apply for a hardship license or restricted driving permit from the Illinois Secretary of State. If your application is granted, you’ll need to install a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device installed in your car. The ignition interlock device allows you to drive while regularly checking your breath for alcohol.
To qualify for a temporary driving permit you and your attorney must prove that being unable to drive is a burden and creates an undue hardship, such as not being able to get your job despite needing to support your family or not being able to go to school. The Secretary of State will review your driving record and a current alcohol and drug evaluation to gauge if you would be a danger to public safety. With a restricted license, you will only have limited driving privilege.
Despite what looks like an automatic process, you can challenge the statutory summary. If you were charged with a drunk driving charge and received notification of your license suspension, you may request a DUI hearing. During this hearing, your criminal defense lawyer can make the relevant legal arguments that might help you avoid the license suspension.
There are many ways to fight against license suspension, which can punish you before you even go to court regarding your criminal charges. Also, there are many ways to get back your license even after a DUI conviction. There are ways to make sure you can support yourself and your family during this tough time.
If you’re facing a license suspension because of drunk driving charges and you don’t know what to do, call a Naperville DUI lawyer today at (630) 425-0250 to schedule a free initial consultation.