Many Illinois residents regularly travel out of state to neighboring states and cities. Most people in Chicago and DuPage County live within a couple hours of Indiana, Michigan, or Wisconsin. Vacations, visiting family, or going off to college leaves many Illinois driver's license holders subject to the traffic laws of other states. Unfortunately, a DUI out of state can leave the Illinois resident dealing with the consequences of a DUI in two states.
What to Know about Out-of-State DUIs in Illinois
If you have been charged with driving under the influence in another state, you may think that your Illinois driver's license is not at risk. However, an out-of-state DUI can still impact your license to drive in Illinois. An Illinois driver's license holder who is convicted of DUI in another state will also face revocation of his or her driving privileges in Illinois. Your Illinois driver's license will also be revoked if you refuse to submit to alcohol testing following being pulled over in another state for suspicion of driving under the influence.
The Effect of an Out-of-State DUI on your Illinois License
Following a conviction of driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance in another state, a revocation of your driver's license will not be instantaneous; it can take a few days or even a few months for a conviction to be reported in Illinois. As soon as the out-of-state DUI conviction is reported to the Illinois Secretary of State, you will be mailed a Notice of Revocation of your Illinois driver's license.
The period of time in which your driver's license will be revoked depends on whether you have any prior convictions of driving under the influence. If this is your first DUI offense, your license will generally be revoked for a minimum of one year. Prior convictions of driving under the influence will result in a much longer period of revocation--a minimum of five years for a second offense, and no less than ten years for a third offense. If your out-of-state DUI is your fourth offense of driving under the influence, your Illinois license will likely be permanently revoked.
Restricted Driving Permits
Before your license is fully reinstated, you may wish to request a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP) through a hearing, which is discussed below. An RDP is a temporary license that allows someone who has been convicted of a DUI to do the following:
- Drive to and from work;
- Drive yourself or a family member to and from medical appointments;
- Drive to and from school;
- Drive to and from daycare or another form of child care; and
- Drive to and from rehabilitation meetings such as Alcoholics Anonymous.
An RDP is not a replacement for a full Illinois driver's license, as it restricts how long someone can drive per day, how many days a week that someone is allowed to drive, and how is allowed in the vehicle. In order to obtain an RDP, a person who has been convicted of a DUI must obtain an alcohol evaluation and, at a minimum, complete an alcohol education class. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your DUI as well as any prior offenses, additional steps may be required in order to obtain an RDP, such as substance abuse treatments and attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
Following the issuance of an RDP, an individual who has been convicted of driving under the influence must drive for at least 9 months under the RDP without incident before reinstatement of his or her full license will be considered.
Formal and Informal Hearings
If you have been convicted of an out-of-state DUI and have an Illinois driver's license, it is necessary to attend a hearing to request an RDP and reinstate your driver's license. Revocation of your driver's license does not automatically end after a certain date; you must take action to reinstate your license. A hearing will be conducted to determine whether you are eligible to have your license reinstated.
Two forms of hearings exist in Illinois, and the type of hearing that you will attend depends largely on whether you have any prior convictions of driving under the influence.
Informal Secretary of State Hearing
If you have not previously been convicted of driving under the influence, you will be eligible to attend an informal hearing in order to have your driver's license reinstated. As its title suggests, this hearing is not as strict as a formal hearing; they are conducted at local offices throughout the state, and these hearings do not even have to be requested in writing. Generally, a driver who attends an informal hearing will learn the results of the hearing within a month of the hearing date.
Formal Secretary of State Hearing
If you are ineligible for an informal hearing, you will need to proceed with a formal Secretary of State hearing in order to request an RDP or reinstatement of your license. These hearings are only conducted in certain parts of Illinois rather than being held locally and, unlike an informal hearing, is attended by a prosecutor who represents the Secretary of State. Following a formal hearing, the appointed hearing officer will make a recommendation on whether to issue you an RDP or reinstate your license, and such a recommendation will be reviewed by a review board. Finding out the result of this hearing can take several months.
Have an Out-of-State DUI? We're Here to Help
If you are an Illinois resident who has been charged with driving under the influence in another state, the team of criminal defense attorneys at Dolci & Weiland is dedicated to helping you keep your Illinois driver's license. Don't try to defend your case alone; the stakes are high, and the impact of losing your license reaches far and wide. To speak with an experienced attorney about your case, fill out an online contact form or call one of our offices today--dial (630) 261-9098 for our Dupage office, or (312) 238-9007 to reach our Chicago location.