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Illinois Driver's License Reinstatement FAQs

Crystal Lake Attorneys Answer Frequently Asked Questions About Driver's License Suspensions and Revocations

Losing your license can be an overwhelming experience, especially if this is your first time being subject to a license suspension or revocation. You may be unsure about your rights are or the steps you should take to get your license back. Fortunately, you do not have to find the answers to these questions on your own. Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC - Illinois Driver's License Reinstatement Lawyers offer trustworthy legal advice and effective representation in license reinstatement hearings. Whether you have lost your driving privileges because of a conviction for driving under the influence (DUI), accumulating too many traffic violations, leaving the scene of an accident, or another reason, we can help.

What Is the Difference Between a License Suspension and a Revocation?

A suspension is temporary. In order to have your driver's license reinstated after a suspension, you must wait until the suspension period ends and then pay a reinstatement fee. In the interim, you may obtain a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP) after attending an informal hearing. A revocation can last indefinitely. If your license is revoked, you will need to apply to have your driving privileges reinstated after the period of revocation has ended. Similar to cases where your license is suspended, you can apply for an RDP. However, your license is not reinstated automatically at the end of the revocation period after you pay the reinstatement fee. You can only regain your driving privileges by attending a license reinstatement hearing and showing that you have satisfied the requirements mandated by the Illinois Secretary of State.

How Does the Secretary of State Determine Whether I Am a Risk to Public Safety?

If your driver's license has been suspended or revoked because you were arrested or convicted of driving under the influence (DUI), an alcohol/drug evaluation will be performed by a counselor who is licensed by the Illinois Department of Health and Human Services Division of Substance Abuse and Recovery. The counselor will determine whether you fall into one of the following risk classifications:

  • Minimal Risk - This classification will typically apply in first-time DUI cases where you have not previously been convicted of DUI or received court supervision, and you have not previously received a statutory summary suspension of your driver's license or had a DUI charge reduced to reckless driving. After your DUI arrest, you must have submitted to a chemical test which showed that you had a BAC of less than .15%. You will be required to complete a minimum of 10 hours of DUI risk education, and you may be eligible for an informal hearing to have your license reinstated.
  • Moderate Risk - This classification will typically apply in first-time DUI cases in which a chemical test showed that you had a BAC between .15% and .19%, or you refused chemical testing. You will be required to complete at least 10 hours of DUI risk education and 12 hours of early intervention treatment. In some cases, you may also be required to participate in a continuing care plan to avoid substance abuse and driving while impaired. You will typically need to attend a formal hearing before your license can be reinstated.
  • Significant Risk - This classification will apply for a second DUI offense or a first offense in which a chemical test showed that you had a BAC of .20% or higher. In addition to a minimum of 10 hours of DUI risk education, you will be required to complete 20 hours of substance abuse treatment, and you will also be required to follow a continuing care plan.
  • High Risk - This classification will apply if you have had three previous DUI dispositions within the past 10 years, including convictions, court supervision, statutory summary suspensions, or DUI charges reduced to reckless driving. You may also be classified as high risk if an evaluation shows that you are dependent on alcohol or drugs, regardless of the number of previous arrests or convictions. You will be required to complete at least 75 hours of substance abuse treatment and maintain active participation in a continuing care plan.

How Can I Prepare for a License Reinstatement Hearing?

The purpose of a Secretary of State hearing is to determine whether reinstating your driving privileges would result in a risk to public safety. You will have the burden of demonstrating that you are not a public risk, and you will need to show that you have met all requirements put in place by the Secretary of State, such as completing a drug or alcohol treatment program, participating in support groups or programs, and making changes to your lifestyle to ensure that you will be able to avoid unsafe driving practices in the future.

In addition to making sure you have all the necessary documentation to show that you have met the Secretary of State's requirements, our lawyers can help you prepare to answer questions correctly during an informal or formal hearing. We know what questions you will be asked, and we will work with you to make sure you are ready to give the right answers to these questions. We will take as much time as needed until we are satisfied that you are ready for your hearing.

What Is a Restricted Driving Permit?

Even if you are not yet eligible to have your license reinstated following a suspension or revocation, you may be eligible for driving relief. You may be able to receive a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP) if the loss of driving privileges will cause your family to experience undue hardship. An RDP will typically only allow you to make trips that are necessary for your health, employment, or the care of your children. For example, you may be allowed to drive to work, school, or drug and alcohol support groups.

What Is a BAIID?

You may be required to install a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) in your vehicle following a DUI conviction or a statutory summary suspension of your driver's license. A BAIID is similar to a Breathalyzer in that it measures the alcohol in your breath to provide an estimate of your blood alcohol content (BAC). You will be required to submit a breath sample before starting your vehicle and at certain intervals while driving. If the device shows that you have been drinking, the ignition will not engage, and the car will not start. A BAIID will be required when driving on a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP) or Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP), and it may also be required for a certain amount of time after your full driving privileges have been reinstated.

Call Our McHenry County License Reinstatement Hearing Attorneys

If you have any other questions about driver's license suspension, revocation, or reinstatement, contact our office today at 779-800-2250 to schedule your free initial consultation. We represent clients in license reinstatement cases in Crystal Lake, Lake in the Hills, Barrington, Round Lake Beach, Rockford, Huntley, Algonquin, Woodstock, Cary, and throughout McHenry, Winnebago, and Cook Counties.

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