Did you know that you can have a DUI license suspension… even if you are found not guilty or the charges against you are dismissed?
If you are arrested for DUI in Illinois, the Secretary of State can (and will) suspend your driver’s license, even if the charges are dropped or you are found not guilty. This license suspension procedure is separate and distinct from the criminal charge of DUI. The Secretary of State can suspend your driver’s license if any of the following occur:
You refuse to submit to a breathalyzer, blood test, or field sobriety tests. If you refuse a breath/blood/sobriety test, the Secretary of State can issue a DUI license suspension. This is referred to as a Statutory Summary Suspension. Being accused of drunk driving can be scary and confusing. Often, the accused may not fully understand what the officer is requesting. As such, many people are deemed to have refused to take a breath/blood/sobriety test by the police officer simply because they did not understand the process. Even asking for an attorney or invoking your constitutional right to remain silent can be construed as a refusal. However, in order for the DUI license suspension to be valid, the arresting officer must have completed certain tasks required by law, including proper warnings to the accused. These DUI license suspensions are enforceable even if you are found not guilty at trial, you plead to lesser charges, or the case against you is dismissed.
If you fail a breath/blood/sobriety test. If you submit to testing and the results indicate the presence of alcohol above the legal limit or drugs in your blood or that you are intoxicated, the Secretary of State can issue a DUI License Suspension. This is also referred to as a Statutory Summary Suspension and is enforceable even if you are found not guilty at trial, you plead to lesser charges, or the case against you is dismissed.
You are convicted of DUI. If you are found guilty at trial or plead guilty to DUI or other certain charges (if the DUI was reduced to a lesser charge), you can face an additional DUI license suspension or revocation from the Secretary of State. This type of suspension/revocation is determined based on the outcome of your criminal case and the length of the suspension/revocation ranges from a year to permanent revocation of your license and is based on the number of DUIs you have had.