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Frequently Asked Questions About DUI in Illinois

What are lawful/unlawful vehicle stops in Illinois?

In order for a lawful traffic stop to exist, there must be a violation of the Vehicle Code or the stop must occur at a roadside stop operated by police officers. In order to prolong the stop, the officer must have probable cause or reasonable suspicion. Otherwise, the officer must take to appropriate measures to conclude the stop, by checking driver identification and vehicle registration, issue a ticket if appropriate and permit the driver to leave. Temporary roadblocks are permitted in Illinois and do not require reasonable suspicion. IL-LP Autos §253.

Can a DUI be expunged in Illinois?

If arrested for a DUI and not convicted, then the person’s record may be expunged. The person must complete and file six copies of the petition to expunge and one copy of the first two pages of the order to expunge to the county clerk. The petition must be signed and notarized. The filing fees must be paid. A hearing date will be set.

Are DUI’s the same for Commercial Drivers?

A driver of a commercial vehicle will be considered driving under the influence with a BAC of 0.04 or higher as opposed to 0.08 or higher for non-commercial drivers. If a commercial driver is convicted of a DUI, he will be disqualified from driving a commercial vehicle for a set period of time.

For a first time DUI while driving any motor vehicle or refusal to submit to an alcohol test, the disqualification will last for one year. If the person is driving a commercial vehicle transporting hazardous material, the disqualification will last for 3 years.

For a second DUI conviction while driving any motor vehicle or refusal to submit to an alcohol test, the disqualification will last for life. Generally, for non-commercial drivers, permanent license suspension is not required by law.

What is the implied consent law in Illinois?

The driver or person in actual physical control of a motor vehicle is deemed to have given consent to blood, urine or breath tests if issued an Uniform Traffic Ticket and arrested for a 11-501 violation, for the purpose of testing the person’s BAC. This includes those persons under the age of 21, dead or unconscious at the time of arrest.

After receiving a restricted driving permit or more than one DUI conviction, a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAII) will be placed in all vehicles owned by that person. The violator will be subject to installation and monthly monitoring fees. The BAII will prohibit the vehicle engine from starting if a BAC of 0.05 or higher is blown by the driver. The purpose of the BAII is to prevent intoxicated drivers from operating their vehicles.

What is the Administrative Review DMV hearings in Illinois?

Those with suspended licenses based on DUI convictions must seek a hearing with the Secretary of State to having their license reinstated. Those with only one DUI conviction will generally be eligible for an informal administrative hearing once the suspension period is over. The person is asked to bring a series of related documentation with them to the hearing. The hearing may result in full or partial license reinstatement. A formal hearing is required for those who have more than one DUI conviction and are presided over by a Secretary of State hearing officer, prosecutor, applicant and attorney. The person is questioned under oath on topics related to their drug and alcohol history, past driving offenses and current lifestyle. The hearing may result in full or partial license reinstatement.

Can I get a DUI for being on prescription drugs?

Under 11-501, a person is only guilty of a DUI involving prescription drugs if the drugs “rendered the person incapable of driving safely” or the combination of those drugs and alcohol “rendered the person incapable of driving safely.” In this case, the motorist will be found guilty of a DUI violation.

Can I be stopped and arrested for DUI even if the vehicle was not moving?

Yes, the requirement for a DUI is satisfied when the motorist is in actual physical possession of the vehicle. This occurs when the motorist is sitting in the driver’s seat. However, if the keys were not in the ignition this could be raised as a defense.

Do I have the right to talk to an attorney before I give a sample?

Because of the implied consent laws in Illinois, there is no right to speak with an attorney prior to deciding whether to submit to a chemical test. However, the violator will be made aware of the consequence of submitting or refusing to the chemical testing.

Do I have to give a blood or urine sample?

No, a person may refuse any of the chemical tests, but may be penalized for doing so. This is because of the Illinois implied consent laws which state that any person operating a motor vehicle is assumed to consent to blood or breath tests to determine the motorist’s BAC. A refusal to submit to the test will result in license suspension for one year instead of the normal 180 suspension for a first DUI conviction.

Do I have to submit to a field sobriety test?

No and a person may do so without penalty because there is a high risk the test will be analyzed by the officer incorrectly. However, if the motorist is under the age of 21, they must submit to all testing. Otherwise the penalty for refusal will result in license suspension.


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