Since intoxicated driving is a Class A misdemeanor offense, there's a load of questions about driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs charges and license suspension and revocation. One of the most common questions we get is "how long will you lose your license for DUI in Illinois?" Besides the probability of spending up to one year in jail and/or a maximum monetary fine of $2,500, an impaired driving conviction automatically causes the loss of your driving privileges.
The first DUI conviction will receive a short license revocation period. Upon a second drunk driving conviction, the DUI offender will still face a minimum 1-year license revocation period if the two drunk driving convictions occurred 20 years apart. If the second drunk driving criminal offense occurred less than 20 years after the first offense, however, you'll face a minimum 5-year period of license revocation.
If you're convicted of a third DUI offense, regardless of when it occurs, you'll receive a minimum 10-year license revocation period. For any additional impaired driving criminal convictions, you'll lose your license for life. If you're facing drunk driving charges in Illinois, it's crucial to speak with an experienced DUI criminal defense lawyer to get a favorable outcome.
At DUI Lawyers 24/7, our experienced DUI criminal defense lawyers can help you get your driver's license back after a DUI. We have helped thousands of DUI offenders facing DUI charges in McHenry County, Lake County, Cook County, Kendall County, Kane County, DuPage County, and throughout Illinois beat their intoxicated driving charges and we can help you, too. For a no-cost case evaluation, contact our Lake County criminal defense law firm today at 847-999-7616.
What Is the Difference Between a Driver's License Suspension and License Revocation?
A license suspension involves a temporary license suspension for a specific period of time. At the end of the license suspension period, your driver's license is automatically reinstated once you pay the required license reinstatement fee.
A license revocation is the indefinite loss of your driving privileges. You qualify for license reinstatement and can't drive until you appear at a court hearing before the Illinois Secretary of State (SOS) and are awarded driving privileges. The minimum period of license revocation - before a DUI offender becomes eligible for license reinstatement - depends on factors, such as your criminal history, the DUI offense that caused the license revocation, and your driving record.
Certain DUI offenses may lead to a license suspension, while more severe DUI offenses may cause a revocation. Examples of offenses that may cause a license suspension include:
- 3 or more minor traffic violations within a 12-month period for drivers 21 years of age or older
- 2 or more minor traffic moving offenses within a 24-month period for drivers under the age of 21
- Possession of an identity card or driver’s license belonging to another driver
- Fleeing a police officer
- Fleeing the actual scene of a motor vehicle accident where property damage exceeds $1,000
- 2 criminal convictions for open containers within 1 year
- Possession of a controlled substance, cannabis, or methamphetamine while driving a motor vehicle.
Examples of criminal offenses that may cause license revocation to include:
- Impaired driving conviction
- Fleeing the actual scene of a car crash resulting in personal injury or death
- Drag racing or street racing or drag racing
- Aggravated fleeing a law enforcement officer, including property damage of $300 or more, speeding 21 miles per hour or more over the speed limit, or disobeying 2 or more traffic control devices.
- Any felony offense involving the operation of a motor vehicle.
- Two criminal convictions for illegal transportation of open liquor where the DUI offender is underage.
Learn More: What to do After a DUI in Illinois
What Type of Hearing Do You Need to Get Back Your Driving Privileges?
The SOS conducts two types of hearings, including a formal hearing and an informal hearing. Formal hearings are conducted when:
- The DUI offender has more than one license suspension or revocation stemming from more than one DUI conviction.
- The ground for the driver's license revocation is a criminal offense involving death.
- An out-of-state application for license reinstatement.
- The DUI offender is seeking modification or rescission of a court order of license revocation or suspension.
- The person has had a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) or Monitored Device Driving Permit (MDDP) canceled and now wishes to be considered for issuance of an undue hardship license or Restricted Driving Permit (RDP).
How Do You Get Your License Back After a DUI in Illinois?
In Illinois, there are no specific requirements for drunk drivers to get their suspended or revoked driver's license. The reinstatement process primarily depends on the reason your license was suspended or revoked, and factors such as your public driving record. Typically, you must:
- Pay a license reinstatement fee.
- Meet any requirements made by the criminal court.
Reinstating a suspended driver's license is challenging, and other steps to follow. For example, to get your license reinstated after an impaired driving conviction, you must:
- Have a clean driving record.
- Complete a recommended alcohol or drug education program.
- Meet with a formal hearing officer from the Illinois Secretary of State office.
- Undergo an alcohol and drug treatment program and if you have a substance abuse problem, you must submit proof of substance abuse treatment.
- File proof of financial responsibility.
- Pass a written exam, driving exam, and vision exam.
- Pay a $500 license reinstatement fee and an application fee.
Your driver's license will only become valid after it’s entered on your driving history in the Secretary of State office. Losing your driving privileges is a challenging experience because of the severe criminal penalties you may face. The criminal penalties are meant to keep people from breaking traffic rules again. To avoid all these severe consequences, drive safely.
Why Could the Secretary of State Deny You Driving Relief?
The Illinois Secretary of State (SOS) follows complicated traffic rules to make decisions about granting or denying driving privileges. Not complying with any of these traffic rules might cause a denial of your application for license reinstatement.
Most of these reinstatement hearings are adversarial, which means they're contested. At a formal hearing, the DUI offender is placed under oath and subject to cross-examination by an experienced Kane County DUI attorney representing the SOS’s office and further subject to questioning by a formal hearing officer. Your application for loss of driving privileges reinstatement may be denied if your statement doesn't satisfy the formal hearing officer or is inconsistent with the information in your drug or alcohol evaluation and/or with the details of your alcohol dependence or DUI arrest.
Also, your application for license reinstatement could be denied even if your testimony and evidence are consistent with the alcohol or drug evaluation and other evidence you present to the formal hearing officer, especially if the officer believes that your testimony or evidence contradicts the results of any chemical testing, your drug use history, or other information.
Related Content: Do You Have to Take a Breathalyzer in Illinois?
Contact Our Seasoned Lake County DUI Criminal Defense Attorneys Today for Legal Advice!
Losing your driving privilege is just part of the legal consequences of drunk driving. You'll want an experienced attorney to help you face any license reinstatement hearings you will go through to get driving relief. When facing DUI charges, you must seek legal representation because an experienced Lake County DUI lawyer to help you handle the criminal charges you're also facing. Call our Lake County criminal defense law firm today at 847-999-7616 to learn how our DUI criminal defense attorney can help with your charges.