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On October 29, 2019, the Illinois House passed Senate Bill 1786 known as the License to Work Act. The Act has now passed both houses of the Illinois legislature and awaits the Governor’s signature.

Over the last 30 years, laws have been passed authorizing the suspension of a person’s driver’s license as a means of collecting past due parking ticket fines, tollway violations and fees owed to the Illinois Commerce Commission. The License to Work Act removes the authority of the Secretary of State to suspend driving privileges for such reasons.

The legislation also provides for restoration of driving privileges for those persons who have previously had their license revoked, suspended or cancelled for non-payment of parking tickets or tollway violations or fees owed the Illinois Commerce Commission. Those suspended for unpaid parking tickets account for the largest portion of those impacted by the new legislation.

If your driving privileges are suspended or revoked in Illinois, you may be unable to obtain or renew your driver’s license in the state in which you reside due to the hold that Illinois has placed on your ‘National Driving Record’. This may occur even if you never lived in Illinois or never obtained an Illinois driver’s license. Most states will not issue or renew your driver’s license until the hold has been lifted and your National Driving Record is clear of suspensions or revocations from Illinois or any other state.

Most holds in Illinois result from either a revocation of your driving privileges due to a DUI or your Failure to Appear in court. However, there are many other reasons Illinois may place a hold on your National Driving Record, including your failure to pay fines for tickets or suspensions caused by various other traffic violations.

DUI Revocations

While the vast majority of offenses for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) are filed and heard in state courts, DUI may also be charged as a federal offense. Most commonly, federal DUI charges arise in situations where the offender is stopped on the property of a federal military installation, national park, national monument, post office or on other federal property.

DUI on National Park Service land

If the DUI occurred on land controlled by the National Park Service, the DUI may be prosecuted as a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 6-months incarceration, a $5,000.00 fine and 5-years of probation. Additionally, a refusal of testing is considered a criminal offense with punishment of up to one-year incarceration, a fine and the suspension of driving privileges on federal land or property for a period of up to one-year.

The Waukegan DUI attorneys at The Davis Law Group, P.C. have an unparalleled understanding of Illinois DUI and traffic law and years of experience representing clients at the main Lake County courthouse located in downtown Waukegan. Our DUI lawyers are prepared to fight to protect your freedom and driving privileges.

DUI Defense Case Study – Lake County, Illinois

The case study detailed below is the recent story of our client who, after allegedly failing field sobriety tests, was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol by the Illinois State Police. Defense Attorney David Mennie, one of our experienced Lake County DUI attorneys, and a former prosecutor, was the lead attorney on this case.

A school bus permit is required to transport school children through 12th grade for a public, private or religious school in a school bus or any other approved vehicle owned by or operated for a school or religious institution over a regularly scheduled route. School bus permit holders are subject to strict rules and regulations, especially when it comes to traffic tickets.

School Bus Permit Requirements

Permit holders must be at least 21 years of age, have held a valid license for the previous three years prior to application for a school bus permit, complete a classroom training course, pass a written test, road test, physical examination, and an FBI criminal background check.

Clients seeking help with a DUI or another serious traffic matter often tell us that their vehicle was seized by the police at the time of their arrest and want to know whether they can get it back.

When can the police seize and forfeit a vehicle?

Illinois law provides for the seizure and forfeiture of vehicles in the case of certain offenses including:

Drivers who have been revoked for DUI in Illinois often ask our driver’s license attorneys how long they are required to drive on a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (“BAIID”) or whether they are required to have a BAIID at all.

Drivers who have one DUI revocation and do not have a prior suspension from a previous DUI (as a result of failing a test or refusing testing) are not required to have a BAIID device installed on their vehicle. On the other hand, driver’s who have one DUI revocation and have also lost their license due to a suspension on a prior DUI are required to have a BAIID device installed on their vehicle as a condition of obtaining a restricted driving permit (“RDP”). The driver must then drive on the RDP with the BAIID for 75% of the period it is issued before the Secretary of State will consider full reinstatement.

An Illinois resident with 2 or 3 DUI convictions must drive with a BAIID for a period of 5-years before they can be considered for full reinstatement (regardless of their ‘reinstatement eligibility date’).

Individuals convicted of DUI often ask our Illinois license reinstatement attorneys when they will be eligible to obtain their full driving privileges. This question has become more and more complicated due to changes that have occurred in Illinois law over the last several years.

Generally, in order to determine an accurate eligibility date, the driver must take two factors into account: the length of the statutory summary suspension (“SSS”) and the length of the DUI revocation. The length of the SSS can be anywhere from 6-months to 3-years depending on whether the person is a first offender or second (or subsequent) offender and whether they refused chemical testing or submitted to (and failed) testing. For purposes of the SSS, a first offender is a person who has not had a prior DUI disposition within 5-years of the current arrest:

Length of SSS

Earlier this week, Illinois enacted one of the most far-reaching cannabis legalization laws of any state in the country. The law, which becomes effective January 1, 2020, contains provisions for the expungement of marijuana offenses.

Over the past decades, hundreds of thousands of Illinois residents (and non-residents) have been arrested for cannabis-related offenses and, as a result, have arrest records that have affected their lives by negatively impacting their ability to gain admission to educational institutions, ability to obtain employment, secure professional licensing and in a variety of other ways. Recognizing the harm that these offenses have had on the lives of offenders, the legislature has included expungement provisions in the new legislation to wipe away the criminal records of persons for offenses occurring prior to the effective date of the new law.

The law provides for expungement by 2 different methods (1) automatic expungement which does not require any action on the part of the offender; and (2) expungement that can only be granted by a petition to the court filed by the offender or his or her attorney.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a new law today which will legalize the recreational use of cannabis beginning January 1, 2020. Many of our clients have asked if it will now be legal to smoke cannabis and drive.

What does the current DUI law say?

In Illinois, it is illegal to drive or be in physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of cannabis or with a THC concentration of 5 nanograms or more within 2 hours of driving. THC is the active metabolite of cannabis. It is the ingredient in cannabis that produces the hallucinogenic effects of the drug. The new recreational use law does not change existing Illinois DUI law. This means that, just as in the case of alcohol, the use of cannabis which causes impairment or its presence in a person’s blood above the legal limit within 2 hours of driving or being in physical control of a vehicle is still illegal, and can result in a DUI arrest.

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I wanted to let you know that I finally got my license back today. I want to thank you guys from the bottom of my heart. You did an amazing job and helped another person turn their life around. I will forever be indebted. Rest assured that I will refer anybody that I hear is in trouble to you guys. Thank you again. All the best.
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I want to extend my sincere gratitude for the success in getting my charges reduced. It has been a rather traumatic experience for me. Though I try to keep an optimistic outlook, it didn't seem possible. But you guys pulled it off and I couldn't be more grateful. This has been a great weight lifted off my shoulders. D.F.
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I would like to take this time to thank you for a job well done. I received my full reinstatement documents today for full driving privileges. This took me by surprise. I did not expect to see the results this fast. I just want to say that I am blessed to have a very good lawyer like yourself to guide me through the process... I am very grateful. You're the best. Thanks again. G.B.
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My special thanks for your help, guidance, and support during a most difficult time. You came recommended as "the best" and you lived up to your reputation! I wish you a lovely holiday season and a new year of challenges overcome, new joys experienced, and much fulfillment realized. All good thoughts your way. S.S.
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I am very grateful for your work and representation. Although it is difficult for me to truly express my gratitude through e-mail, I hope you can still understand how thankful I am that we were able to dismiss my case on the first court date. I am very pleased with the outcome. Again, thank you very much for your time. Please enjoy the rest of your week. D.K.
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