Statutory Summary Suspensions Related to DUI

summary suspension, Illinois law, Cook County DUI LawyerBy this point, most people are aware of the dangers of driving under the influence, or DUI. Virtually everyone realizes that the prosecution of drunk driving carries serious penalties and consequences that can reach far into a person’s future. This, of course, is in addition to the potentially deadly results of DUI-related accidents. What many may not realize, however, is that the impact of a DUI situation is not necessarily dependent upon a conviction or a ruling of the court. Instead, the decisions you make during a DUI stop can have an effect on your life long before you ever set foot in the courtroom.

Granted Authority

Criminal penalties for DUI, as you might expect, can only be handed down by a decision of the court, based on a finding of guilt or a guilty plea. Court supervision may be ordered in lieu of a conviction, and the requirements of such supervision may seem like criminal penalties, but still require the action of the court. Under Illinois law, however, the Office of the Secretary of State is tasked with overseeing driver’s license suspension and revocations, which are not dependent upon a finding of guilt. Instead, the suspension of a driver’s license is an administrative penalty which limits the privileges of driving, which, as privileges and not rights, are subject to revocation without a conviction.

Most Common DUI Suspensions

Although there are a number of situations in which the Secretary of State’s Office may impose a statutory summary suspension of driving privileges, there are two that are commonly associated with DUI. Both involve chemical testing for blood alcohol content and the severity of the suspension depends upon a person’s history and the circumstances of the situation.

Chemical Test Refusal

By operating a vehicle with a valid driver’s license in Illinois, you are presumed to have agreed to submit to chemical testing for blood alcohol content (BAC) when requested by law enforcement. Known as implied consent, this agreement means failure to comply with a chemical test request will result in an automatic statutory summary suspension of driving privileges for one year. A second or subsequent refusal—that is, during a separate DUI stop—will result in a three-year suspension.

Failing a BAC Test

Blood alcohol testing is conducted by an analysis of a subject’s breath, blood, or urine. Most commonly, roadside tests utilize breathalyzer machines, as blood or urine tests must take place in a properly-equipped facility. A chemical test which shows your BAC level to exceed the legal limit—.08 percent for most drivers and .04 for drivers of a commercial vehicle—will result in a six-month statutory summary suspension. A second or subsequent failure within five years, carries a one-year suspension

Get Legal Help Now

The statutory summary suspensions handed down by the Secretary of State’s Office are in addition to any potential penalties imposed as the result of a DUI conviction. In fact, even the DUI charges against you are reduced or dismissed, without taking additional action, the suspensions will still stand. Fortunately, an experienced Chicago DUI defense lawyer can help you with your case. Attorney Hal M. Garfinkel is a former prosecutor who understands the Illinois legal system and is equipped to get you back on the road quickly and with minimal negative impact. Call 312-270-0999 to schedule a confidential consultation today.

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