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Wheaton DWI defense attorneyLosing your driving privileges after you have been arrested or convicted of a DUI in Illinois is not a difficult task. In fact, for most people arrested for DUI, it is automatic. If you fail a chemical test to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC) or you refuse to take a chemical test, your driver’s license will automatically be suspended by the Illinois Secretary of State’s office. For a majority of Americans, driving is an important privilege, without which they cannot go about their daily lives. The state of Illinois understands this, which is why there are options available to you if you have had your driver’s license suspended or revoked for DUI-related reasons. All options require the use of a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID), so it is important that you understand what these devices are and how they work.

Understanding BAIIDs

A BAIID is a small breathalyzer device, roughly the size of a cell phone, that requires a breath sample before you can start your vehicle. The BAIID is wired into the ignition system in your vehicle, so it will not allow your vehicle to start unless the BAC of the breath sample you provided is less than .025. If your breath sample registers at .025 or above, your vehicle will not start and your breath sample will be recorded.

While you are driving, the device may randomly prompt you to provide another breath sample to ensure you are staying sober for the entire time you are in the car and that someone else did not perform the test for you when starting the car. The Illinois Secretary of State’s office has remote access to your BAIID and will download your activity every 60 days. If there were any violations that were recorded on the device, the Office will request an explanation of the violations. If you do not respond to the request or your explanation is not sufficient, then you could face further violations.

Will I Need a BAIID?

The short answer is yes. If your driver’s license has been suspended or revoked and you apply to get either a monitoring device driving permit (MDDP) or restricted driving permit (RDP), you will need to have a BAIID installed into any vehicle that you intend to drive during your suspension or revocation period.

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Wheaton IL statutory suspension lawyerIn Illinois, driving while you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol can get you into a lot of trouble. Criminal charges and related consequences are not the only things that you can look forward to after you are arrested for DUI. In certain situations, you can also face administrative penalties for a DUI charge, which can affect your day-to-day life without even being convicted of a crime. The most notorious administrative penalty for DUI is what is called a statutory summary suspension. This can affect your ability to freely drive following a DUI arrest and can make your life more difficult than it needs to be. Statutory summary suspensions can be fought, but it takes a knowledgeable Illinois DUI lawyer to succeed in a case.

What Is a Statutory Summary Suspension?

At its core, a statutory summary suspension is an administrative action that is carried out by the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office that can automatically suspend your driving privileges after you fail, refuse to submit to or fail to complete a chemical test to determine your BAC during a DUI arrest. A statutory summary suspension is an administrative action, meaning it is separate from any other criminal action you may experience.

Implied Consent in Illinois

Most states -- including Illinois -- have implied consent laws, which basically means that any person who holds an Illinois driver’s license and operates a motor vehicle on Illinois roadways has been deemed to have given consent to chemical testing of their breath, blood or urine to determine his or her alcohol concentration.

Failing a Chemical Test

Failing a chemical test to determine your BAC means that your BAC was .08 or more or there were 5 nanograms or more of THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) per milliliter of blood, or a trace of any other drug. Failing a chemical test for a first-time offender means that person will face a six-month driver’s license suspension. If this is the person’s second or subsequent offense within the past five years, they will face a one-year driver’s license suspension.

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Wheaton IL DUI defense lawyerDriving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is extremely dangerous. According to the Illinois Secretary of State's Office, there were over 27,000 DUI arrests in Illinois in 2017. The state takes DUI arrests very seriously which is why 91 percent of people who were arrested for DUI and were eligible, lost their driving privileges. Still, the state also recognizes that people should not have to be put through months of hardship for one mistake. This is why Illinois allows certain DUI offenders to apply for one of two types of driving permits: a monitoring device driving permit (MDDP) or a restricted driving permit (RDP).

Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP)

In order to apply for an MDDP, you must be a first-time DUI offender. This means you must not have received a statutory summary suspension in the past five years or have been convicted of a DUI in Illinois or any other state within the past five years. In addition, your DUI arrest must not have caused death or great bodily harm to another, and you must not have been previously convicted of reckless homicide or aggravated DUI that resulted in death.

While you have an MDDP, you must have a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) installed into any vehicle that you drive, though you may drive anywhere at any time once you have the permit and have the BAIID installed. 

Restricted Driving Permit (RDP)

If you are ineligible for an MDDP, you may be eligible for an RDP. In order to qualify for an RDP, you must be able to prove that hardship exists. You must also provide a current professional drug and/or alcohol evaluation and, in some cases, proof of remedial education or treatment. You must also have a BAIID installed into any vehicle you drive during the length of the permit. In addition, the have an RDP issued to you, you must attend a hearing at the Secretary of State’s Office so they can determine whether there is a threat to public safety if you were issued a permit.

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DuPage County underage DUI lawyerIn the United States, drinking is a sort of rite of passage for many teenagers, though it is illegal. One of the worst things a teenager can do when they have been drinking is get behind the wheel of a car. Driving while you are under the influence of alcohol, or any other drug for that matter, is illegal for anyone, no matter your age. For those who are under the age of 21, drinking and driving is a much more serious offense, and young offenders face harsher penalties.

Zero Tolerance Laws

Most states have developed some form of zero tolerance laws for underage DUI offenders. These laws have helped underage DUI offenses become less common, but they still happen and they are still punished accordingly.

In Illinois, if a person under the age of 21 is pulled over on suspicion of intoxicated driving and their BAC is more than .00, he or she will face penalties in alignment with the zero tolerance laws. For a first offense, driving privileges will be suspended for three months for a BAC over .00. If the offender refuses to submit to a chemical test, driving privileges are suspended for six months.

Underage DUI Penalties

If a person under the age of 21 is convicted of DUI, they will receive all of the same penalties as someone who is over the age of 21. This means that for a first offense, underage DUI offenders face up to one year in prison and up to $2,500 in fines. Since they are under the age of 21, offenders will also face a minimum of two years of driver’s license revocation and will not be eligible for a restricted driving permit (RDP) until the second year of the revocation. In addition, a judge can also order an underage DUI offender to participate in the Youthful Intoxicated Driver’s Visitation Program.

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Illinois DUI defense attorneyBeing arrested for allegedly driving under the influence (DUI) can have serious criminal consequences, such as jail time and hefty fines, but did you know there are non-criminal penalties as well? These penalties, otherwise known as collateral consequences, are not imposed by the court but they can still have a significant impact on your life.

Perhaps the biggest impact is felt under the statutory summary suspension law, which states that your license may be automatically suspended if you refuse to submit a chemical test or test above the legal limit. Although this is technically a violation of your Constitutional rights, the statutory summary suspension created a loophole that enables an unlawful invasion of your privacy. It indicates that all road users give implied consent to chemical testing because they are using highways and streets that belong to and are maintained by the government. Thankfully, you can fight back against this suspension. Learn how and discover what an experienced attorney can do to help.

Statutory Summary Suspensions

Statutory summary suspensions do not cause an automatic loss of your driving privileges. Instead, you are given notice, typically at the time of your arrest. Unless you contest the statutory summary order, your suspension begins on the 46th day after receiving the notice. An experienced attorney can help you fight the suspension but act quickly! Your petition to rescind the order must be filed within 90 days of receiving notice of the suspension. Untimely petitions will not be considered by the courts.

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