Efforts Underway To Reduce DUI Paperwork Errors

DUI, mandatory suspensions, Chicago DUI defense attorneyPolice departments across Illinois are being encouraged to clean up their bureaucratic and paperwork processes related to DUI cases. This initiative from the secretary of state’s office is being put forth following a Chicago Tribune report that thousands of drunk drivers have avoided mandatory driver’s license suspensions as a result of improperly filed documentation.

Mandatory License Suspension

Under Illinois law, an individual arrested for charges of driving under the influence faces a statutory suspension of driving privileges. The suspension for first-time offenders can last for up to one year or may be as little as 30 days, followed by the use of ignition interlock device. Repeat offenders face even lengthier suspensions.

To begin the suspension process, law enforcement must complete a form following the arrest and forward the form to the state. According to Illinois law, the suspension begins 46 days from the day of suspension notice, and only a court hearing may offer any chance to rescind the mandatory suspension.

Missing or Incomplete Paperwork

A recent investigation by the Chicago Tribune discovered that thousands of DUI reports never made it into the state system. Without the required information regarding the arrest, the state would have no reason to begin the process of license suspension. Subsequently, the notices were never sent and suspensions were never put into effect. The state insists they were never informed of the arrests, while police departments maintain their paperwork was handled properly. Wherever the blame truly lies, the outcome presents a concerning problem. Despite their arrest for DUI, drivers, including many repeat offenders, were permitted to stay on the roads due to bureaucratic mix-ups.

The Tribune examined more than 40,000 convictions in the greater Chicago area over the last three years and found that DUI paperwork errors occurred in nearly 3,300 of them. In Cook County alone, almost 1,800 DUI offenders were able to avoid mandatory suspension, due to miscommunication or mistakes between law enforcement and the state. Over 600 more were found in DuPage County records.

You Cannot Count on a Mistake

If you have been charged with a DUI related offense in Illinois, you need a defense lawyer who understands the legal system and your options. Our team is qualified to help you through your case, even without a paperwork error by the state or law enforcement. Contact an experienced DUI defense attorney in Chicago today at the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney for your free initial consultation. Our phones answer 24 hours a day and we offer evening and weekend appointments to serve you.

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