Thanks to The Legal Defenders for sharing this important information with StopCollector.com readers.
The Illinois DUI law changed on January 1, 2009. Right from the beginning, let’s be clear that this new law does not change the statutory summary suspension hearings and procedures, nor does it change the DUI criminal law in Illinois. This law is considered to be one of the strictest DUI law in the United States.
First, this new law changes the period of statutory summary suspensions for DUI offenders. The period of statutory summary suspension for first time DUI offenders has been extended from three months to six months. The period of statutory summary suspension for second time DUI offenders has been extended from six months to 12 months. This period of suspension is in addition to any criminal penalties that may be imposed by the Court. Previously, first time DUI offenders had been eligible for a Judicial Driving Permit (JDP) allowing for limited driving during a period of suspension. Second, this new law has gotten rid of the JDP and replaced it with the Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP). The Chicago criminal defense attorneys at Legal Defenders have determined what the conditions are for an MDDP to be issued:
* Possession of valid driving privileges except for the Summary Suspension
* Death or great bodily harm did not occur during the DUI leading to the suspension.
* No prior conviction for Reckless Homicide or Aggravated DUI that resulted in death.
* No previous Summary Suspension within the 5 years preceding the suspension from the current arrest.
* The driver is over 18 years of age.
A “first time offender” is essentially defined as someone who had had no DUI suspensions or findings of guilty in the past 5 years.
Once the driver appears in court, the judge must sign an order for the Illinois Secretary of State to issue the MDDP permit. This order will be issued unless the driver opts out of the program in writing. The judge cannot decide to issue such an order so long as the driver meets the criteria set forth above. The MDDP will not take effect until the 31st day after the suspension. So no matter what, any driver arrested for a DUI will not be allowed to drive for at least 30 days. A $30 Secretary of State monthly fee must be paid in advance for the Secretary of State to issue a permit. This monthly fee is solely for the Illinois Secretary of State and is in addition to the monthly fee paid for the device. For a 6-month suspension, this Secretary of State fee comes out to $150. For a 12 month suspension the Secretary of State fee will be $330. Once the MDDP is issued, the driver will only have 14 days to have a Breath Alcohol Interlock Ignition Device (BAIID) installed in their car. The MDDP holder will only be allowed to drive the vehicle equipped with the BAIID device. There is a onetime installation fee of $150 and a monthly fee of $115 for the device. The Chicago criminal defense attorneys at Legal Defenders have estimated the total costs to be as follows:
* For a six month suspension, $875.
* For a twelve month suspension, $1,745.00.
The BAIID device will require a test of the driver’s breath before the vehicle can be started and will require periodic tests while the car is running. If the driver fails a test while the vehicle is running, the vehicle will continue running but the horn will start blowing and lights will start flashing so as to alert police officers of the situation.
Unlike with the JDP, there are no restrictions on driving with an MDDP as to specific times and routes. When it comes to employment, drivers cannot operate commercial vehicles during the period of suspension. However, there is an exception for employer owned vehicles. The suspended driver will be allowed to drive an employer owned vehicle during the period of employment provided that the employer provide documentation to the Secretary of State. However, the vehicle and company cannot be owned by the driver.
Finally, a violation of the terms of the MDDP is now a Class 4 felony.