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Appealing a Statutory Summary Suspension of Your Driver’s License

Posted on in DUI Defense

DuPage County DUI defense lawyersIn Illinois, a driver who is arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) faces two penalties. First, there is the criminal charge, punishable by fines, jail time, and other penalties. Second, there is an administrative sanction, the statutory summary suspension of your driver’s license. Most people know they need to fight the criminal charge. But did you know that you can also fight the statutory summary suspension?

Understanding the Statutory Summary Suspension Law

If you have been arrested on suspicion of DUI, Illinois law requires you to submit to chemical testing for drugs and/or alcohol (625 ILCS 5/11-501.1). If you refuse to be tested, the penalty is the statutory summary suspension of your driver’s license for a minimum of one year. If you test over the legal limit for alcohol, cannabis, or another controlled substance, your driver’s license will be suspended for a minimum of six months.

If you refuse or fail chemical testing, the police will take your Illinois driver’s license and give you a receipt that allows you to continue driving legally for the next 45 days. On the 46th day, the suspension automatically takes effect.

Not being able to drive is tough for most people in Illinois, especially if you live in the suburbs. But if you are caught driving while your license is suspended, the penalties are very harsh.

Fortunately, there is another option. You have the right to a court hearing at which you can challenge this suspension (625 ILCS 5/2-118.1). If you can get the suspension overturned (the legal term is “rescinded”), you can get back behind the wheel.

Hearing to Challenge A Statutory Summary Suspension (SSS)

To challenge a SSS, you must submit a written request for a hearing to the circuit court in the county where you were arrested. This Petition to Rescind must be filed within 90 days of your arrest. This hearing is a civil court proceeding, separate from any criminal court proceedings related to DUI criminal charges.

Unfortunately, filing this petition does not affect the start of the suspension; it still takes effect on the 46th day after your arrest. Therefore, you should apply for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP) within a couple of weeks of your arrest. This will allow you to continue driving as long as you have a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) installed in your car. This can all be taken care of before the suspension kicks in on day 46. Anyone who has not had a SSS or been sentenced for DUI within the past five years should be eligible for the MDDP.

The hearing must be held within 30 days after your petition for a hearing is filed. At the end of the hearing, which typically lasts about one hour, the court will issue its decision. If the suspension is overturned, the court is to immediately notify the Secretary of State.

An Experienced DuPage County DUI Defense Lawyer

After failing or refusing a chemical test for DUI, you have just 90 days to request a hearing to contest the suspension of your driver’s license. A savvy Oak Brook DUI defense attorney can explain your options for challenging the suspension in addition to defending you on DUI criminal charges. Call McMahon Law Offices at 630-953-4400 for a free consultation; evening and weekend hours are available.






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