According to the Illinois Secretary of State, more than 26,000 DUI arrests took place across the state in 2018. Drunk driving charges are taken seriously in the state of Illinois, as even a first offense could result in jail time. Being arrested for a DUI can be an intimidating experience because of the uncertainty involved, and it often leaves people with many questions. One of the most common queries people have after their DUI arrest is, “Am I still able to drive?” The answer to this question depends on a variety of factors and how you decide to handle your case. Generally, the answer is yes, with a few considerations that must be made.
Your License Will Still Technically Be Suspended
If you were arrested because a police officer suspected that you were driving under the influence, you will most likely face both administrative and criminal penalties. Administrative penalties are different from criminal penalties and can run concurrently and be administered without being convicted of a crime. A DUI arrest typically results in an administrative driver’s license suspension, referred to as a statutory summary suspension.
When you are taken into police custody on suspicion of DUI, you will be asked to complete a chemical test, typically a breath test, to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). If you fail a chemical test, meaning your BAC is above the legal limit of .08%, or if you refuse to take the chemical test, you will be subject to a statutory summary suspension. The length of time the suspension will be in effect depends on whether or not you refused the test. If you fail the test, you face a six-month suspension, while a refusal will result in a 12-month suspension.
Driving Permits May Be Available to You
If you are subject to a summary suspension, there are things you can do to keep yourself behind the wheel. One of the easiest ways to keep driving after you have been arrested for DUI is by immediately applying for a driving permit. For most first-time DUI offenders, a monitoring device driving permit (MDDP) is appropriate. This permit allows you to keep driving whenever and wherever you please, with a few restrictions. The major contingency with an MDDP is that you must have a breath-alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) installed on any vehicle that you drive during your suspension period. This device will ensure you are sober each time you are behind the wheel.
If you are not eligible for MDDP, you can apply to receive a restricted driving permit (RDP), which would still allow you to drive, but with more restrictions. To receive an RDP, you will have to attend a hearing at the Secretary of State’s office where you may have to prove that hardship exists or that you are receiving treatment for a drug or alcohol addiction. An RDP also requires the use of a BAIID when driving, but you are only permitted to drive to designated places, such as your workplace, during approved times.
Contact a Wheaton, IL Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you have been arrested for DUI, you were also probably given notice that your driver’s license will be suspended by the Illinois Secretary of State’s office. This suspension does not go into effect until the 46th day after your receive notice of the suspension, but it is important to take action before then. At the Davi Law Group, LLC, we understand the impact that a DUI conviction and the loss of driving privileges can have on your life. Our skilled DuPage County DUI defense attorneys will do everything in our power to make sure you still have the ability to drive. Call our office today at 630-580-6373 to schedule a free consultation.