How Long Will My Illinois Driver’s License be Suspended for a DUI?

Published: Jan 13, 2017, by admin in Criminal Defense, DUI, Legal Blog

You are likely aware that one of the punishments for driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol is a driver’s license suspension. All states reserve the right to suspend your license or vehicle registration for a period of time due to driving while intoxicated, or at a certain point, revoke your driving privileges entirely. In Illinois, there is a graduated scale for how long you will be without your license depending on the factors surrounding your DUI and whether you have any previous DUI convictions.

For your first DUI, you can expect to lose your license for one year. However, if you have been convicted of multiple DUIs, you may lose your right to drive forever. While it can be difficult to seek a shorter suspension period, Illinois offers many individuals restricted driving licenses to reduce the hardship caused by losing driving privileges. An experienced Chicago DUI attorney at O’Meara Law can defend you against a DUI and seek to reinstate some or all of your driving privileges as soon as possible.

Call us today at 312-909-0706.

A First DUI

When you are arrested and charged with a DUI for having a blood-alcohol content (BAC) at or above .08 percent or refusing to submit to a chemical test, you face an automatic license suspension by the state. This is not part of a criminal punishment for a DUI conviction. The summary suspension period for your first time failing a chemical test is six months and begins on the 46th day following your receiving the notice of the suspension (which is usually the day of your arrest). Your first offense for refusing to submit to a chemical test is one year. However, for both situations, you can apply for a monitoring device driving permit within the first 30 days of the suspension period.

For a first DUI conviction, your driving privileges will be suspended for one year, unless you are under 21 years old, and then your license is suspended for two years.

A Second or Third DUI

Like with a first DUI, you will face a statutory summary suspension of your driver’s license if you fail or refuse to take a chemical test. For a second or subsequent failed test, the automatic suspension is one year. For a second or subsequent refusal, you face a three-year suspension. Illinois law previously did not allow repeat offenders to apply for relief. However, the law changed in January 2016 and you may now ask for a restricted driving permit during your automatic suspension period.

For a second DUI conviction within 20 years, your license is suspended for five years. If you are under the age of 21, a second offense leads to a minimum of five-year suspension or until your 21st birthday, whichever period is longer. A third DUI conviction results in a minimum 10-year suspension for drivers of any age.

When you have two or three DUI convictions, you are required to obtain a restricted driving permit to get back on the road. If granted, this enables you to drive in vehicles with a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) installed. You must drive a vehicle with a BAIID for five years and then you can have your full driving privileges reinstated.

A Fourth DUI

If you have been convicted of a fourth DUI, your license will be revoked for life. Previously in Illinois, you would have had to manage without a driver’s license the rest of your life. However, as of January 2016, you can now apply for a restricted driving permit after five years of revocation and proof of three years of abstaining from alcohol and drugs. It is possible that after five years you may be able to drive so long as you have a BAIID installed in your vehicle.

If Your DUI Accident Hurt or Killed Someone

Whether this was your first or a subsequent DUI, if it led to an accident that injured or killed someone, you can expect a harsher punishment. You may face the same duration or longer of a summary suspension of your license or suspension upon conviction as you would normally, however you likely lose the right to monitoring device driving permit or restricted driving permit.

Contact a Chicago DUI Attorney

When you are facing the prospect of losing your driver’s license, you should immediately call an experienced Chicago DUI attorney from O’Meara Law to address the situation. A skilled attorney will immediately appeal a summary suspension to try and keep you on the road while your DUI goes to trial. Additionally, if you do lose your license due to an automatic suspension or a conviction, your attorney will help you obtain limited driving privileges as soon as possible.

Call O’Meara Law today at 312-909-0706 to schedule an initial case consultation.