What is a Statutory Summary Suspension?
The DUI Attorneys at The Legal Defenders have a thorough understanding of the Illinois Statutory Summary Suspension process. A Statutory Summary Suspension is an administrative procedure providing for the automatic driver’s license suspension of a driver arrested for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol who fails chemical testing or who refuses to submit to or fails to complete testing. Chemical testing is a test, such as a breathalyzer test, showing a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .08 percent or more of any amount of cannabis, controlled substance or intoxicating compound.
If you fail a chemical test and it’s your first DUI offense, you will be facing a mandatory 6 month license suspension. If you fail a chemical test and it’s your second DUI offense, you will be facing a mandatory 12 month suspension of your driver’s license. If you refuse to submit to a chemical test and it’s your first DUI offense, you will be facing a mandatory 12 month driver’s license suspension. And if you refuse to submit to a chemical test and it’s your second DUI offense, you will be facing a mandatory 36 month driver’s license suspension. The term “first offender” as used above is somewhat misleading. Those with a prior DUI conviction, court supervision, or reduction to reckless driving more than five years before the date of the current arrest are considered first offenders even though they are not eligible for court supervision on the criminal charge. The Statutory Summary Suspension proceeding is considered a civil proceeding and is separate and distinct from the criminal proceeding.
Illinois had a “no tolerance” policy when it came to driving a motor vehicle with marijuana in your blood system. However, this law was recently changed. Prior to the law changing, if you were driving a motor vehicle with any trace of marijuana in your blood system, you could be guilty of driving under the influence. But under the new law, in order to be charged with driving under the influence the state has to prove that you had at least 5 nanograms of THC in your blood, or at least 10 nanograms of THC in your saliva. The Statutory Summary process applies to DUI cases involving marijuana. Failure to submit to a test to detect marijuana, or failing a test, involves the same implications as cases involving alcohol.
The DUI Attorneys at The Legal Defenders are trained to understand that Statutory Summary Suspensions are automatic. They automatically go into effect on the 46th day from the notice date on the suspension. Usually, police officers give defendants the document entitled, “Notice of Statutory Summary Suspension” at the police station when they are being processed. This suspension is between you and the Illinois Secretary of State. It does not take the place of criminal penalties you are facing in court. The DUI Attorneys at The Legal Defenders are trained to request a judicial hearing to challenge the legality of an arrest; however, the request does not stop the suspension from taking effect. This suspension can only be challenged by a DUI Attorney at The Legal Defenders through the filing, within 90 days of your arrest, of a Petition to Rescind Statutory Summary Suspension.
If you are facing a Statutory Summary Suspension of your driver’s license, contact us. We can help you preserve your driving privileges.
James Dimeas is an award winning Chicago criminal defense attorney and author with more than 23 years of experience aggressively representing his clients in DUI cases. If you have a DUI case in Illinois, contact me in Chicago (312-229-5500), DuPage and Kane (630-504-2096) or Lake (847-696-6458) for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal options.