Illinois Summary Suspension of Driver’s License

When a driver who is licensed to drive in the state of Illinois is arrested for drunk driving, the police officer confiscates his driver’s license. Along with having to deal with the criminal charge of drunk driving, the defendant also has to decide if he wants to challenge the imminent suspension of his license.

What is a Notice of Summary Suspension?


The police officer prepares the drunk driving arrest report and gives the driver a document called a Notice of Summary Suspension. The Notice of Summary Suspension report informs the driver that in 46 days, their license will be suspended by the Illinois Secretary of State.

The length of the license suspension ranges from 3 months to 3 years. The reverse side of the notice also explains that it is also a ‘Receipt to Drive.’ In other words, the driver can use the paper as a temporary permit for the 45 days between their drunk driving arrest and their license suspension.

Can I challenge the suspension of my license?


A statutory summary suspension is an administrative action taken by the Illinois Secretary of State. Therefore, it is separate from the criminal charges which may result from a drunk driving charge. If the driver wishes to fight the suspension, they must do so with the Court Clerk. A ‘Petition to Rescind Statutory Summary Suspension’ must be filed with the Clerk of the Circuit Court that has jurisdiction in the Illinois drunk driving case.

It is a good idea to file the Petition as soon as you can. The State must provide a trial within 30 days of the date that the Petition was filed or lose the petition. This violation of the time frame is seen to be a breach of the defendant’s Due Process.

While a defendant who is unable to afford a drunk driving attorney will be appointed a Public Defender to represent them in criminal court, Illinois law does not allow a Public Defender to take part in the administrative license suspension hearing.

Can I get a temporary permit to drive if my license is suspended?


Before 2009, an Illinois driver who has had his license suspended for drunk driving could ask the court for a Judicial Driving Permit. This permit, since January 2009, has been replaced by a ’monitoring device driving permit’ or MDDP.

The driver must wait the first 30 days of his suspension before he is eligible for a MDDP. This permit requires the driver to install an ignition interlock device. Drivers who wish to drive must periodically blow into the device (which measures breath alcohol) before the car will start. Instead of being able to drive only to work or school (which is generally allowed with a limited or hardship license), the MDDP allows the driver to carry on a normal routine as long as they follow the law.

How do I get an MDDP?


When you attend your hearing and the judge finds that your summary suspension is upheld, the judge will then ask you if you want an MDDP (if this is your first DUI in 5 years). If you say ’yes’, the Illinois Secretary of State will send you the required information including how much one costs. Once you pay the necessary fee, they will send you the MDDP and you have 14 days to install it.

If you are charged with a DUI in the state of Illinois, your best course of action is to talk with an experienced DUI attorney who can help you not only with your criminal drunk driving charge, but also with your administrative license suspension hearing. It is in your best interest to have someone at your side who knows all of the laws and can fight for you.

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Beth L. is a content developer for LeadRival, a cutting edge company that helps connect DUI lawyers with DUI clients. Beth L. writes about a variety of DUI topics to help drivers who have been arrested for DUI, getting them the legal help they need.

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