DUI and Traffic

Sanctions for those convicted of driving drunk:

Conviction Loss of license Jail Fine Community Service Driving Permit
1st (Class A Misd.) 1-year min. Possible imprisonment up to 1 year Up to $2,500 None May apply for restricted permit
2nd w/in 20 yrs. (Class A Misd.) 5-year min. Possible imprisonment up to 1 year; mandatory 2 days jail or 10 days comm. service for 2nd conv. in 5 years Up to $2,500 10 days (or 2 days in jail) May apply for restricted permit
3rd DUI (Class 4 Felony) 10-year min. 1-3 years possible imprisonment Up to $25,000 If given probation, possible 30 days comm. service or 48 hours of jai May apply for restricted permit
4th or more DUI (Class 4 Felony) For life 1-3 years possible imprisonment Up to $25,000 If given probation, possible 30 days comm. service or 48 hours of jail Not eligible

Statutory summary suspension penalties

  Loss of license Driving Permit
Failed chemical test, 1st offense 3 months Eligible for judicial permit on 31st day of suspension
1st refusal of chemical test 6 months Eligible for judicial permit on 31st day of suspension
2nd or more chemical test failure 12 months Not eligible for judicial permit; must apply for restricted driving permit; not effective until 91st suspension day
2nd or more refusal of chemical test 36 months Not eligible for judicial permit; must apply for restricted driving permit; not effective until 25th suspension month

Source: Illinois Secretary of State

Alcohol abuse-related Resources

Basic Speed Rule: A person shall not drive a vehicle upon any highway at a speed which is greater than is reasonable and proper with regard to traffic conditions and the use of the highway, or endangers the safety of any person or property. 625 ILCS 5/11-601(a).

1st or 2nd speed law offenses are Petty Offenses. A 3rd or subsequent speed law offense (within 1 year) is a Class C misdemeanor, 625 ILCS 5/16-10, year, not more than 30 days jail, 730 ILCS 5/5-8-3(a)(3). Driving > 40 MPH over the speed limit is a Class A misdemeanor, 625 ILCS 5/11-601.5, any jail term less than 1 year. 730 ILCS 5/5-8-3(1) Speed Restrictions, Illinois (625 ILCS 5/)

Statutory Speed Limit: 65 MPH: (1) on Illinois toll highways and (2) on highways that are divided and have at least 4 lanes 625 ILCS 5/11-601(b) & (d);
55 MPH on all other highways, roads or streets outside an urban district 625 ILCS 5/11-601(b) & (d) 55 MPH for Second Division Vehicles weighing >8,001 lbs. 625 ILCS 5/11-601(e);
30 MPH in an urban district, 625 ILCS 5/11-601(b) & (c)(1);
15 MPH in an urban district alley, 625 ILCS 5/11-601(b) & (c)(2).

The 65 MPH speed limit applies either (1) to vehicles which are designed to carry not more than 10 persons (First Division vehicles) or (2) to Second Division vehicles which have a gross weight of <8,000 lbs. A Second Division Vehicle is defined as one (1) designed to carry 10 or more persons, (2) use for living quarters, (3) designed to carry or pull property, freight or cargo and (4) a registered school bus regardless of the number of students it is designed to carry. 625 ILCS 5/1-217 & 5/11-601(d).

State By State Speed Laws

SANCTIONS FOR SPEEDING IN A CONSTRUCTION ZONE: There is a fine of $150 (mandatory) to $1,000.  There is an additional fine of $50 which is used for school safety.

SANCTIONS FOR SPEEDING IN A SCHOOL ZONE: There is a fine of $150 (mandatory) to $1,000.  There is an additional fine of $50 which is used for school safety.

What is the difference between a suspension and a revocation?

Suspension means that you temporarily lose your driving privileges for a designated period of time or until you meet certain reinstatement requirements. Revocation means that your driving privileges are taken away indefinitely. If revoked, you may not reapply for your license for at least one year.

What is a Statutory Summary Suspension?

If you are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), the arresting officer will request that you submit to chemical testing. Refusal to submit to this testing will result in a six or 24-month suspension. Submission to testing that reveals a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more or any amount of a drug, substance, or compound resulting from the unlawful use or consumption of cannabis or a controlled substance will result in a three or 12-month suspension.

STATUTORY SUMMARY SUSPENSION LAW: If you are arrested and found to have a BAC of .08 percent or more and/or any trace of a controlled drug substance or cannabis (marijuana) in your body while operating a motor vehicle, your driving privileges will be suspended for at least three months. If you refuse to submit to testing, your driving privileges will be suspended for at least six months. If you are a second offender within a five-year period, your privileges will be suspended for at least 12 months if you fail or 24 months if you refuse the test. The officer will take your license at the time of the arrest and provide you with a temporary receipt allowing you to drive for 45 days. Your suspension begins on the 46th day from the notice date. When your suspension ends, you must pay a $60 reinstatement fee to terminate the suspension. If you are charged with DUI, your refusal to submit to testing may be used as evidence against you.

I received a Statutory Summary Suspension. When will it terminate?

Provided the minimum period of suspension has elapsed, the suspension will terminate after the required $60 reinstatement fee has been paid and the appropriate entry has been made to your driving record. During the period of this suspension, your driver's license is retained by the court wherein your DUI case was processed, and you will need to contact that court regarding the return of your driver's license.

How do I apply for a Judicial Driving Permit?

If you have a three or six-month Statutory Summary Suspension, you may contact the court wherein your DUI case was processed for information regarding the requirements for obtaining this type of permit. Upon receipt of a court order, and providing you are eligible, the Secretary of State will issue and mail the Judicial Driving Permit to you. If you need to apply for a corrected or duplicate Judicial Driving Permit, you may contact the court for the appropriate order.

What is a Zero Tolerance Suspension?

A driver under age 21 who is arrested for any violation of the Illinois Vehicle Code will be asked to submit to chemical testing if the arresting officer has reason to believe the driver has consumed any amount of an alcoholic beverage. Refusal to submit to this testing will result in a six or 24-month suspension. Submission to testing that reveals a blood alcohol concentration of more than 0.00 will result in a three or 12-month suspension.

What happens if I am convicted of DUI?

If you are convicted of a DUI, your driver's license and driving privileges will be revoked for a minimum of one year for the first offense, five years for a second offense committed within a 20-year period, and 10 years for a third or subsequent offense. However, if you are under age 21 at the time of the DUI conviction, your driver's license and driving privileges will be revoked for a minimum of two years for your first offense; for five years or until your 21st birthday, whichever is longer, for your second offense; and for 10 years for a third or subsequent offense.

DUI CONVICTION: In addition to a Statutory Summary Suspension, you may be convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or other drugs. The first DUI conviction will result in the loss of your license for a minimum of one year. You also may be fined up to $2,500 and given a jail sentence of up to one year. If you are convicted of a second DUI offense within 20 years, you will lose your license for a minimum of three years. You also will be sentenced to 48 hours in jail or 10 days of community service. You also may be fined up to $1,000. A third conviction, which is a class 4 felony, will result in the loss of your license for a minimum of six years, a possible one to three years imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000.

If convicted of DUI while transporting a person under age 16, you will be fined a minimum of $500 and required to serve five days of community service in a program benefiting children.

A DUI also will subject you to high risk auto insurance rates for three years. Before your driving privileges are restored, you will be required to undergo an alcohol and drug evaluation and successfully complete a rehabilitation or an alcohol and drug education program and/or meet other requirements.

How can I pay a driver's license reinstatement fee owed to the Secretary of State's office for a suspension or revocation?

A $30 or $60 reinstatement fee for a suspension or a $60 reinstatement fee for a revocation can be paid through the mail with a check, cashier's check or money order made payable to the Secretary of State with the affected driver's license number written on the front of the fee.The mailing address is Secretary of State, Driver Services Department, 2701 S. Dirksen Parkway, Springfield, Illinois 62723. Sending the fee via an overnight letter service offered by the Postal Service or a private carrier can expedite the processing of the transaction. Thirty dollar suspension fees and $60 revocation fees can be paid over the telephone using a Visa, Mastercard or Discover card by calling 217-785-8619.

The $60 fee for a Statutory Summary Suspension for failing or refusing a chemical test and the $30 Zero Tolerance Suspension fee can be sent to the DUI Processing Section at the address above. To pay this type of fee with a Visa, Mastercard or Discover card, please call 217-782-3619.

A $30 fee for a suspension can be paid in person at Springfield office or at the Chicago Public Service Center in Room 411 of the Chicago Traffic Court Building at 321 N. LaSalle in Chicago. This fee also can be paid in person at any of the following driver services facilities: Bloomington, Carbondale, Champaign, Chicago Heights, Deerfield, Effingham, Elgin, Granite City, Lombard, Midlothian, Moline, Naperville, Rockford or Schaumburg. For information on facility hours and addresses, please call either the Secretary of State's toll-free number at 1-800-252-8980 or the Secretary of State's Chicago Information Line at 312-793-1010.

My driving privileges are suspended. Am I eligible for a Probationary License?

To be eligible for a Probationary License, you must be suspended for three months or less for being convicted of three moving violations in a 12-month period. You must have a driver's license that is not expired in your possession, and you must be at least 18 years of age. You also must attend a four-hour Defensive Driving Class. A Probationary License will not restrict you to driving during certain hours or within a certain radius. For more information, call the Special License and Re-Examination Unit of the Secretary of State's office at 217-782-6901.

I am a CDL license holder and my driving privileges are suspended. Am I eligible for a Restricted Driving Permit for occupational drivers?

To be eligible for a Restricted Driving Permit for occupational drivers, you must be suspended for 12 months or less for being convicted of three moving violations in a 12-month period. You must be at least 18 years old and have your driver's license in your possession. You must drive a commercial vehicle in connection with your regular occupation. The cost is $8.00.

I'm a new Illinois resident. How do I get a driver's license and automobile registration?

As a new Illinois resident, you may continue to drive on your valid out-of-state driver's license for 90 days. To obtain a new driver's license, you must visit a driver services facility to surrender your out-of-state license and pass a vision screening, written exam and possibly a drive exam. You must change your vehicle registration within 30 days by filling out a form at a driver services facility.

What can I do if I don't receive my license plate sticker renewal notice before it expires?

Visit your nearest driver services facility (outside Cook County) to obtain a registration application, or call 1-800-252-8980. If you reside in the Chicago area, call 312-793-1010.

I received an enforcement notice in the mail for a parking ticket that I believe was not issued to my vehicle. What can I do to contest this action?

If the ticket notice is from the City of Chicago, you can work with the city to request a mail-in hearing to have a city hearing officer review the ticket to determine proper liability. To do so, you will need to send a written request for a mail-in hearing to the City of Chicago, Bureau of Parking Enforcement, Room 540, 333 S. State Street, Chicago, Illinois 60604. Accompanying your request should be proof that the vehicle described in the ticket enforcement notice is not your vehicle, such as a copy of your vehicle's license registration card, or proof that your vehicle was not at the place indicated on the ticket at the stated time, such as a copy of your time sheet from work or a letter from your employer. For more information on contesting a Chicago parking ticket, residents of the (312), (708) and (847) area codes may call the City of Chicago at 312-744-2668; all other Illinois residents can call toll-free 1-800-336-2446. If the ticket notice is from another municipality, the ticket often can be contested in a manner similar to that of Chicago tickets.

I have moved out-of-state and wish to obtain a new license. The licensing authorities in that state require that I provide them with a letter of clearance as proof that my Illinois license is valid. How can I obtain a clearance letter?

All states were notified that as of Oct. 1, 1997, Illinois no longer issues clearance letters. States should perform record checks through the Problem Driver Pointer System. If the other state's licensing authority insists on having written proof of the validity of your driving privileges, you may obtain a copy of your driving record.

I was hit by an uninsured motorist who was at fault in the crash. Can something be done to help me collect damages?

You should submit an Illinois Crash Report to the Illinois Department of Transportation Accident Report Office, 3215 Executive Park Drive, Springfield, Illinois 62766, 217-782-4516. In the report you should indicate that the party was uninsured and request that the case be certified to the Secretary of State for suspension under the Safety and Financial Responsibility Law. Once the case is certified, the Secretary of State will suspend the driver's license of the at-fault uninsured driver and the license plates of the uninsured owner involved in the crash. The suspension will remain in effect until restitution is made to you or until other requirements set by statute are met. Another option available to you is to file a court judgment against the uninsured motorist. If the judgment remains unsatisfied for 30 days, you may submit it to the Secretary of State for suspension. For additional information, contact the Safety and Financial Responsibility Section, 2701 S. Dirksen Parkway, Springfield, Illinois 62723, 217-782-3720.

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DUI BREATH TEST 1st Dist. People v. Larsen No. 1-00-0251 (June 28, 2001) 4th div. (HARTMAN) Reversed and remanded.

HTML version Trial court erred when it granted defendants' motion in limine prohibiting the test results from breathalyzer machines into evidence. Contrary to holding of trial court, regulations promulgated by Dept. of Public Health do not require that machines be certified within three digits of accuracy in order to be certified accurate.

DUI- HGN Test and Frye standard, People v. Basler, No. 87770 (November 16, 2000) 5th Dist. Appellate court affirmed as modified. Appellate court correctly reversed trial court for denying defendant's motion for continuance without allowing her to present evidence. However, court's suggestion that trial court conduct Frye hearing before allowing police officer to present results of HGN test is error. The State is no longer required to show that the HGN test satisfies the Frye standard before it may introduce the results of an HGN test into evidence; the validity of HGN tests and test results, however, is not beyond challenge. If a defendant has evidence showing that HGN tests are scientifically unsound, then he may interpose the appropriate objection to the HGN test results and present his supporting evidence to the trial court. If the trial court is persuaded by the defendant's evidence, then the court has the right to bar its admission. It is the defendant's obligation to show that the test results are infirm. It is not the responsibility of the State to show that the tests and results are scientifically valid. Absent proof by the defense that the HGN test is unsound, the State need only show that the officer who gave the test was trained in the procedure and that the test was properly administered. Although validity of test is subject to challenge by means of expert testimony, test is valid until shown otherwise and only foundation required is officer's familiarity with test. (HARRISON) HEIPLE, BILANDIC, special concurrence, MCMORROW, FREEMAN, dissent.

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MANDATORY INSURANCE, People v. O'Brien, No. 90390 (July 26, 2001) Appeal, 4th Dist. Trial court affirmed, Appellate court reversed.

HELD: Both on its face and in the context of related provisions of the Code, the plain language of section 3-707 clearly indicates a legislative purpose to impose absolute liability. Trial court's conviction of defendant for failure to produce proof of insurance when he was operating vehicle belonging to a friend, that he mistakenly thought was insured, should not have been reversed by the appellate court.

Mandatory insurance requirement of Section 3-307 of Motor Vehicle Code is an absolute liability offense, especially when read in conjunction with the provisions of Section 4-9 of Criminal Code.  (THOMAS) McMORROW, FREEMAN, special concurrence
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The sole witness at defendant's bench trial was Officer Stephen Mechling of the University of Illinois police department. Officer Mechling testified that, on June 10, 1999, he stopped defendant's vehicle because the license plate registration sticker on that vehicle had expired. Defendant explained that he had borrowed the car and therefore did not know that the sticker had expired. Officer Mechling then asked defendant whether the vehicle was insured, and defendant stated that he did not know. When defendant was unable to produce proof that the car was insured, Officer Mechling issued defendant a citation for operating an uninsured motor vehicle.

Defendant moved for a directed verdict. In that motion, defendant conceded that, if section 3-707 is an absolute liability offense, the State had established a prima facie case. Defendant argued, however, that section 3-707 is not an absolute liability offense but instead requires proof of a culpable mental state. According to defendant, because the State failed to prove that defendant either knew or should have known that the borrowed vehicle was uninsured, the State failed to prove defendant guilty of violating section 3-707. The trial court denied defendant's motion, holding that section 3-707 is an absolute liability offense. When no additional evidence was presented, the trial court found defendant guilty and imposed a fine of $501 plus court costs.

Defendant appealed, and the appellate court reversed his conviction (316 Ill. App. 3d 219). In doing so, the appellate court held that neither the plain language of nor the public policy underlying section 3-707 justifies the imposition of absolute liability. 316 Ill. App. 3d at 222-24.

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