DUI Penalties for Illinois CDL Holders

Illinois commercial driver’s license holders are subject to enhanced license penalties when they are charged with DUI. DUI cases in Illinois generally are broken down into 2 separate parts – the Statutory Summary Suspension (“SSS”) of a driver’s license based on chemical testing and the criminal charge for DUI. Either portion of the case can impact your CDL driving privileges.

These penalties are enforced regardless of whether you were driving your personal vehicle or a commercial vehicle at the time of the DUI. The legal limit while driving your personal vehicle is a blood alcohol content (“BAC”) of .08, while it is .04 while driving a commercial vehicle.

What will happen to my CDL privileges?

The Illinois Secretary of State imposes a mandatory 1-year disqualification of CDL privileges regardless of whether the driver submits to and fails testing or refuses testing. The same penalty will be imposed for a finding of guilt after trial or plea of guilty on the criminal charge of DUI, regardless of the sentence imposed by the judge (i.e. court supervision or conviction).

What will happen to my regular driving privileges?

The Illinois Summary Suspension Law imposes varying lengths of suspension depending on whether you submit to and fail testing or if you refuse testing as well as whether you are a first offender.

You are considered a first offender for purposes of the license suspension if you do not have a prior DUI disposition within the previous five year period prior to the current DUI arrest.

First offender

  • 6-month suspension if you submit to and fail testing
  • 1-year suspension if you refuse testing

Second offender

  • 1-year suspension if you submit to and fail testing
  • 3-year suspension if you refuse testing

What if I have a Hazmat endorsement?

If you are driving a commercial vehicle transporting hazardous material at the time of the DUI you may face a 3-year disqualification of your CDL privileges.

When does the license suspension begin?

In all cases, the suspension and/or disqualification will automatically take effect 46 days from the date the police officer serves you with the Notice of Summary Suspension. This most often takes place at the time of arrest) unless you submitted to a blood or urine test.

Can I apply for a driving permit during the suspension?

You can apply for a Monitored Device Driving Permit (MDDP), which will allow driving 24/7 during the entire period of suspension. However, the permit is only valid for regular driving privileges, not CDL privileges. The Secretary of State does not offer a permit for CDL privileges. Federal and State law prohibits CDL privileges during the period of disqualification.

Can I challenge the Statutory Summary Suspension?

Your DUI defense attorney should file a ‘Petition to Rescind the Statutory Summary Suspension’ with the court. Depending on the evidence and strength of the case against you, it may be possible to challenge the suspension at a hearing. In fact, it is also possible to challenge the suspension if you are not given a hearing within the required timeframe.

Of course, every case is unique and your attorney will need to evaluate the evidence to determine if there are legal grounds to challenge the suspension. It should be noted that even if your attorney is successful in challenging the suspension, your CDL privileges can still be disqualified depending on the results of the criminal case as described below.

What if I receive Court Supervision on the DUI charge?

While court supervision prevents a public record or license consequences for those with only regular driving privileges, it still results in a 1-year disqualification of CDL privileges.

In addition, if you receive a second DUI resulting in either another Statutory Summary Suspension or a finding of guilty on the DUI criminal charge, the Secretary of State will impose a lifetime disqualification of your CDL privileges.

The only way to avoid the license consequences stemming from the criminal charge of DUI is to successfully challenge the DUI at trial or by negotiating a reduction or amendment of the offense (i.e. an amendment of the DUI to reckless driving).

DUI Defense Attorneys

Contact the DUI defense attorneys at The Davis Law Group, P.C. today. We focus our legal practice in the areas of DUI law and Secretary of State driver’s license law. Our attorneys have decades of experience defending truck drivers charged with DUI throughout the Chicago area including Cook County, Lake County and DuPage County.

We understand the personal and professional consequences that you face when charged with DUI. Call us today at (847) 390-8500 to arrange a consultation.

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