How Long Will Your License be Suspended for a DUI in Illinois?

Updated on 01/13/2023 / Under

It is illegal to drive with a BAC of 0.08% in the state of Illinois as well as around the country. Even so, if the authorities pull you over and find that you were driving with a BAC that is between 0.05% and 0.08% you can still be cited for a DUI if the authorities see that your behavior suggests that you are impaired. This will be done at the discretion of the citing officer. Compared to when you are not taking any alcohol you are still likely to get into a fatal crash even if you were driving with a blood alcohol concentration level that is below the legal limit.

Most people are aware of the consequences or punishments that come about as a result of a DUI. One of the punishments that are likely to be awarded is a driver’s license suspension.  Every state in the US has the right to suspend your license for a certain period of time or even revoke your driving privileges permanently as a result of driving while you are intoxicated.

Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case will determine how long your license can be suspended. If you are wondering how long will your license be suspended for a DUI in Illinois? Factors such as having a previous DUI conviction play a major role in determining how long you will go without your driving license privileges.

How Long Your Driver’s License Will be Suspended Based on Your Criminal Record

The period of time that your driver’s license will vary based on the number of convictions that you have.

When You Have Been Charged for Your First DUI

In the case where you have been arrested and convicted for a first-time DUI and your BAC or blood alcohol content was at 0.08 or higher or if after the officer stopped you did not agree to a chemical test, the state will issue an automatic license suspension. This license suspension is not part of the criminal punishment that will be awarded after a DUI conviction.

The summary suspension for when you fail your first chemical test will last for a period of six months. The period of six months starts from the day you get arrested. When you refuse to submit to a chemical test after you have committed your first offense your license suspension period will last for one year.

Regardless, you should understand that in both circumstances within the first thirty days you can go ahead and apply for a monitoring device driving permit. After you have committed your first DUI conviction your driver’s license will be suspended for a year. However, if you are below the age of twenty-one your license suspended will be suspended for a period of two years.

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After a Second or Third DUI

Even with a second or third DUI, you will be faced with a statutory summary suspension on your driver’s license after refusing to submit a chemical test. When you fail a chemical test the second time your driving license will be automatically suspended for a period of one year. For refusing a chemical test the second time you are likely to face three years suspension on your driving license.

Previously, in Illinois, repeat DUI offenders were not allowed to apply for relief. In January 2016 the laws changed and it is possible for repeat offenders to request for an RDP or a restricted driving permit during the time period that their driving license is facing an automatic suspension.

If you are a repeat offender for the second time within a period of twenty years your driving license will be suspended for a period of five years. For an individual that is below the age of twenty-one, they will as well face a minimum of a five years driver’s license suspension or wait until they are twenty-one to get the license suspension lifted after a second offense. It depends on which period is longer. Regardless of the age of the driver, a third DUI offense warrants them a minimum of a ten-year suspension.

If you have been charged with two or three DUI convictions and you want to be able to get back on the road it is necessary for you to request and be granted a restricted driving permit. When the RDP or restricted driving license has been granted it will enable you to be able to drive with a BAIID (breath alcohol ignition interlock device) installed in the vehicle. For the five years that your driver’s license has been suspended or before your full driving privileges have been reinstated you are required to drive with a vehicle that has a BAIID installed.

After a Fourth DUI

After a fourth DUI conviction, your driving license will be revoked permanently. Before the Illinois laws changed after your driver’s license was revoked you would have had to do without a driving license permanently or for life. But, things changed in January 2016. As of January 2016, it is possible for an individual that has had their driver’s license revoked to apply for an RDP after a period of five years of driving license revocation.

You as well need to show proof that you have been able to abstain from drugs and alcohol for a period of three years for a restricted driving permit to be granted. Even though you have the possibility of driving after a period of five years it is necessary for a BAIID to be installed in the car that you are driving. 

You Should Call an Attorney as Soon as You Can After Your Arrest

Most people tend to think that there is nothing that can be done until their first appearance in court. However, that is far from the truth. It is known that your license suspension is supposed to happen automatically on the 46th day after you have been arrested for DUI. Your lawyer will not in any way be able to delay the automatic car suspension. However, if you are to prevent the suspension from taking place on that particular day you should file a petition that will help you in fighting the license suspension. At times individuals end up winning the petition and the suspensions end up being lifted.

It is important to understand that a driving license suspension hearing will most of the time take place during your first court date or later on and after your suspension is likely to start. With this in mind, it is important for you to get a lawyer as soon as you get arrested so you can have enough time to prepare before the license suspension period starts.

Your lawyer may need to request evidence that is important to your case. Evidence such as video footage or any recordings is crucial to your case. Your lawyer may need to obtain this evidence within a few days after a DUI charge so it doesn’t end up getting destroyed or being maliciously recorded over.

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How an Illinois DUI Attorney Can Help

After you have finished going through your criminal penalty or statutory summary suspension you can then look to have your driver’s license suspension by the secretary of state. For your driver’s license to be automatically reinstated you are required to pay a fee. There are several things that you will have to do so that your driver’s license suspension can be reinstated after a DUI conviction.

Learn More: How a DUI Lawyer Can Help

Below are some of the things that you will have to do for your license to be reinstated after a DUI-related suspension:

  • You will need to go through an alcohol and drug evaluation.
  • Finish a drug and alcohol education program
  • Where necessary you should provide proof of drug and alcohol abuse treatment.
  • You should be able to show proof of financial responsibility as a driver.
  • When you done attending a hearing you are required to speak with a hearing officer at a driver’s services facility.
  • You should be able to demonstrate that you are no threat to public safety during a hearing. Your attorney will guide you.
  • You a required to pass every part of your driver’s license exam.
  • You need to pay for the both the application fee and reinstatement fee.

The above may seem like a lot of things that an individual needs to do so they can get back their driving license.  However, with the help of a skilled and experienced attorney who will guide you through the process, help you to fill out any paperwork needed, or gather the necessary information that you need the process becomes easier. You will need patience throughout the process since it can take a bit of time before you are able to get your license back after a DUI.

At our Naperville DUI firm we have helped clients get their licenses back after a suspension and we can help you too. Call us today!