Illinois is considered an “implied consent” state, meaning that as a condition of obtaining a driver’s license in the state of Illinois, you consent to give a breath (or blood/urine) sample if you are charged with a DUI or with failure to stop/report a motor vehicle accident involving death or personal injury.

Once a police officer issues a citation (ticket) for these offenses, they can request a chemical test or tests. The most common test is a breath sample, but the arresting officer can also request urine or blood. It is important to note that an arresting officer has authority to request two additional tests (urine or blood), even after you give a breath sample.

When an officer requests a test(s) they must warn the driver of the consequences of refusing. Most officers will read from a pre-printed form called the Warning to Motorist which outlines the various consequences. The officer does not have to read the form verbatim. They must only cover the substantive consequences of refusing, which are as follows:

1. if the driver refuses to give a sample, driving privileges will be suspended for twelve (12) months;
2. if the driver provides a sample AND the blood alcohol level (BAC) is greater than .08 or the THC concentration is above a certain level, or any amount exists of a substance listed in the Illinois Substance Control Act, driving privileges will be suspended for a period of six (6) months;
3. If the driver is not a first offender and refuses to give a sample, driving privileges will be suspended for a period of three (3) years;
4. If the driver is not a first offender AND the blood alcohol level (BAC) is greater than .08 or the THC concentration is above a certain level, or any amount of a substance listed in the Illinois Substance Control Act, driving privileges will be suspended for a period of one (1) year;
5. If the driver has a CDL license, the CDL license will be disqualified for twelve (12) months for a first offense and a lifetime disqualification for a second offense., regardless if they were operating a commercial vehicle.

The penalties are different for drivers under the age of 21.  The suspensions above take effect forty-six (46) days after the issuance of the Confirmation of Statutory Summary Suspension. There are many grounds to challenge the suspensions as outlined above. If an officer did not have reasonable grounds to stop the vehicle in the first place, it is highly likely the courts will suppress or throw out any evidence obtained after the stop. In addition, the law provides other grounds in which you can challenge the suspension of your driving privileges, including whether you were warned correctly.

It is imperative to have effective and competent legal representation immediately after a driver receives a citation for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs (DUI) so the attorney can properly strategize the best defense. There are certain time limits in which the driver can challenge the suspension of the driver’s license. Additionally, if the Public Defender’s Office represents you, they cannot challenge the suspension of your driving privileges as that is a civil matter.

Once you challenge the suspension of your driving privileges, due process requires a hearing be conducted within a certain time period; otherwise your suspension is rescinded (goes away). Please contact me today so I can review your individual case.

Attorney Todd J. Polito has years of experience successfully representing drivers charged with Driving under the Influence of Alcohol and Drugs in Will County, Grundy County, Kendall County, Kane County and DuPage County. He and the attorneys of McNamara • Phelan • McSteen, LLC are here to help you. Please contact Mr. Polito for a no obligation consultation to review the facts surrounding your DUI arrest.

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