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Illinois DUI Law Change - Now a DUI Client can Continue to Drive the Entire Suspension Period

Brian L. Polinske
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Edwardsville Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer

For first time offenders who are suffering their Statutory Summary Suspension period (6 or 12 months) can now drive during the entire period of suspension.  The prior law caused a 30 day "Hard Time" suspension on each DUI subject.  The "Hard Time" was the first 30 days of each respective suspension.  As an example, if a person who blew .08 was to begin their SSS on 6/1/16 they would not have been able to drive from 6/1/16 to 7/1/16 due to the "Hard Time" period of suspension.  They would, however, be able to drive legally with an MDDP from 7/1/16 to the termination date of 12/1/16.  Under the new law given the same scenario the subject is able to legally drive beginning the first day of their suspension.  Under the new law the person is able to legally drive from 6/1/16 until the suspension's conclusion on 12/1/16. 

Obviously, this makes a big impact on the DUI subject's ability to get to (and in some cases to keep) their jobs.  In the 23 years I have practiced in this field this is the only law that has actually improved a DUI suspect's life.  I have seen many different laws that create harsher penalties, make possible more felony DUI charges, take away one's ability to obtain a hardship permit, and lengthen the SSS periods.  This is the first law I can recall (aside from allowing a 4th time offender to apply for a hardship permit) that actually benefits the typical DUI subject.

To comply with the benefits the subject must apply for an MDDP and install the BAIID (Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device) earlier than previously.  They must apply prior to the first day the SSS is scheduled to begin.  Realistically they must apply two weeks or more before the SSS is scheduled to begin due to beauracratic lag. 

I am excited that this new law is enacted.  I believe this will save many first time DUI offenders their jobs.  Most DUI offenders are charged only one time.  So this law will benefit those most deserving of it. 


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