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DUI Process in Illinois

All Cases:

First, the person will be stopped for a traffic violation. If the officer has reasonable suspicion to believe that the person may be under the influence of alcohol, the officer may request a breath test or pupillmeter test is performed. With or without the results of these two preliminary tests, if the officer has probable cause to believe the person is under the influence of alcohol, the person will be arrested. Upon arrest, the person may undergo blood or urine tests to determine blood alcohol content.

Criminal Cases Only:

The person will be placed in a holding cell until released or bond is posted.

An arraignment will be held 30-60 days after the initial arrest. If the person pleads guilty, a sentence will be imposed. If the person does not plead guilty, a trial date will be set. In this case, a pretrial hearing will be held to update the court on the status of discovery and any plea agreements that have been reached. If no plea is made, the case will proceed to trial. The defendant may move to suppress the chemical testing results at a pretrial hearing.

The trial must take place 120-160 days after the trial request is made. Both jury and bench trials are available in DUI cases. If the person is found guilty, a sentencing hearing will follow the trial.

Appeals of DUI convictions are available if a timely request is made.

Civil Cases Only (BAC under 0.08 or any juvenile DUI regardless of BAC):

If the person suspected of a 11-501 violation refuses or fails a chemical test, the arresting officer will request a license suspension from the Secretary of State. 46 days following arrest, the person’s license will automatically be suspended, unless a hearing has been requested by the person within 10 days of the arrest. If a hearing is requested, it must take place within 30 days of the request. If the suspension is upheld, a defendant may request a Judicial Driving Permit, which permits the person to drive under limited circumstances. Generally, an ignition interlock device is request upon the grant of a permit.


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