Statutory Summary Suspensions in Illinois
In 1986, the Statutory Suspension law which creates the present Illinois implied consent law was first enacted. The Illinois Department of Transportation gives a good summary of the program here. It should be noted that some of the specifics in that article are out of date given recent updates to the law since 2003.
The general gist of the law stems from the fact that Illinois is an “implied consent” state. Implied consent is the law that implies that all motorists in Illinois, by virtue of being allowed to drive upon the public roads of Illinois, submit to chemical testing of their bodily substances to determine whether (and to what extent) that the driver is possible impaired.
Statutory Summary Suspensions
If a person is arrested for DUI in Illinois, the Statutory Summary Suspension will come into effect 46 days after the arrest. The purpose of the statutory summary suspension procedure is to quickly remove impaired drivers from the highway. People v. Ehley, 887 N.E.2d 772 (2008). For a first time offender, their driver’s license will be suspended for six months if they submitted to chemical tests or twelve months if they refused to submit to the chemical tests. The suspensions are even longer if you have had a prior DUI.
However, due process requires that drivers be given a meaningful opportunity to contest the suspension. People v. Orth, 530 N.E.2d 210 (1988). The courts have determined that a license to drive is a property interest which may not be suspended or revoked without due process of law.
Under the statute, there are four issues that can be raised at a Statutory Summary Suspension Hearing:
- Whether the person was placed under arrest for an offense as defined in Section 11-501, or a similar provision of a local ordinance, as evidenced by the issuance of a Uniform Traffic Ticket, or issued a Uniform Traffic Ticket out of state as provided in subsection (a) of Section 11-401.1; and
- Whether the officer had reasonable grounds to believe that the person was driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle upon a highway while under the influence of alcohol, other drugs, or a combination of both; and
- Whether the person, after being advised by the officer that the privilege to operate a motor vehicle would be suspended or revoked if the person refused to submit to and complete the test or tests, did refused to submit to or complete the tests to determine the person’s alcohol or drug concentration; or
- Whether the person, after being advised by the officer that the privilege to operate a motor vehicle would be suspended if the person submits to a chemical test, or tests, and the test discloses an alcohol concentration of .08 or more, or any amount of a drug, substance, or compound in the person’s blood or urine resulting from the unlawful use or consumption of cannabis listed in the Cannabis Control Act, a controlled substance listed in the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, an intoxicating compound listed in the Use of Intoxicating Compounds Act, or methamphetamine as listed in the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act, and the person did submit to and complete the test or tests that determined an alcohol concentration of .08 or more.
In People v. Tomlinson, 692 N.E.2d (1998), the Fourth District Court of Appeals held that the scope of a hearing on a driver’s petition to rescind a statutory summary suspension of driving privileges is not strictly limited to the 4 issues enumerated in the statute. Instead, the motorist may raise another issue if it concerns a mandatory provision upon which the suspension is predicated.
Right to Counsel
Illinois courts have ruled that statutory summary suspension hearings are not punishment and are civil in nature. Thus, indigent defendants are not entitled to the appointment of counsel.
Our DUI Defense Lawyers will always challenge a Statutory Summary Suspension Hearing to insure that our client’s rights are protected. We have a tremendous track record in beating statutory summary suspensions. If you were arrested for DUI, contact our DUI Defense Lawyers today for a Free Initial Consultation at (217) 414-8889 and don’t forget to Like Us on Facebook.