New Illinois Law Would Allow for the Sealing of Certain DUI Arrests

Illinois law has prohibited the expungement and sealing of DUIs as part of a longstanding policy. Past failed legislative efforts have primarily sought to make DUIs expungeable, which would affect the Secretary of State’s ability to track a driver’s DUI history.

In Illinois, a person’s DUI arrest history is significant in a variety of ways. For example, it is used to determine whether to charge a new DUI as a misdemeanor or felony, whether the individual is eligible for court supervision, and determine their eligibility for license reinstatement. If the Secretary of State were forced to delete such information from a driving record, certain laws would become difficult, if not impossible, to enforce. As a result, the Illinois Secretary of State has opposed past efforts to pass DUI expungement and sealing laws.

Now, a new legislative effort is underway, which has a chance at passage due to substantial support among legislators and a lack of opposition from the Secretary of State.

House Bill 3934 would permit the sealing of Illinois DUI’s provided that all of the following criteria are met:

1) The person has not previously been placed on supervision or received a conviction for an Illinois DUI;

2) 10 or more years have passed since the termination of the person’s sentence;

3) The DUI was not the cause of a death or personal injury to another person;

4) The person has no other misdemeanor or felony driving charge on their driving record;

5) The judge makes a finding that the person did not enter into a plea agreement on a lesser charge other than the DUI which is to be sealed and that the person has not committed another DUI in Illinois.

The sealing of the DUI would apply to the individual’s criminal record and would not affect the Secretary of State’s ability to maintain reports of supervision or conviction for DUI on the individual’s driving record. In other words, even if the DUI is sealed, it will still appear on their driving record.

House Bill 3934 is currently pending in the Illinois House of Representatives and must pass there before being considered by the Illinois Senate. Assuming it passes, it will still require signature by the Governor before becoming law.