Reasons Why Petitioners are Denied Driving Privileges by Illinois Secretary of State

You spent months preparing for a hearing with the Illinois Secretary of State to finally get your driving privileges restored after years of having a revoked license. You have done everything asked of you including the completion of your evaluation, treatment and classes.

Finally, the big day arrives and you appear for your hearing. As you walk out of the hearing room, you think everything went well. You eagerly wait for your decision to arrive. After several months of waiting and hoping, the Secretary of State has denied your request not only for reinstatement but has also denied you a restricted driving permit (RDP). You are devastated and confused.

The license restoration attorneys at The Davis Law Group, P.C. have represented thousands of drivers before the Secretary of State. A large percentage of our clients have previously had hearings either on their own or with another attorney and have been denied. As a result, we have had countless opportunities to review prior denial orders. Our experience tells us that there are many recurring reasons why people are denied driving privileges.


1) The Evaluation and/or Treatment Documents Do Not Meet Secretary of State Requirements.

The Office of the Secretary of State has extensive written administrative rules carrying with them the force of law. Among these rules are provisions specifying the minimum requirements that an alcohol/drug evaluation and accompanying treatment documents must meet in order to be considered favorably. We often find that despite the fact that these documents are prepared by licensed professionals, they often do not meet these requirements.

2) The Alcohol/Drug Evaluation does not Support the Assigned Classification Level

Under Illinois law, a petitioner can fall into 1 of 5 classification levels based on such factors as arrest history, BAC levels, drinking/drug use history, and symptoms of abuse/dependency. The classification system is extremely complicated and technical. As a result, mistakes are often made. More importantly, the Secretary of State will often find that the drinking/drug use history provided by the petitioner and the reported symptoms do not support the classification level assigned to him or her.

3) The Petitioner’s Testimony is Inconsistent with the Information Contained in the Evaluation

Even in cases where the alcohol/drug evaluation is properly prepared, the client’s testimony at the hearing is substantially different from the information contained in the evaluation. This may have to do with the facts and circumstances of the prior DUI(s) including the amount of alcohol consumed; the drinking/drug use history prior to the DUI(s) or since the last DUI; alcohol/drug symptoms experienced by the petitioner as well as numerous other discrepancies. 

4) The Petitioner Fails to Acknowledge the Existence and/or Reasons for a Drinking/Drug Problem

Petitioners who have been diagnosed at a Significant Risk classification level or above have generally gone through a treatment program which, in part, is designed to assist them in developing an acknowledgement and understanding the nature and extent of their drinking and/or drug problem and how it relates to the risky behavior they have engaged in. The inability at the time of the hearing to acknowledge and explain the nature and reasons for their problem and how it relates to their DUI arrest(s) will cause the Secretary of State to question the effectiveness of previously completed treatment and the need for additional treatment. 

5) The Petitioner is Classified as High Risk (Dependent) and has Failed to Demonstrate or Document an Adequate Support System

Petitioners who are classified as alcohol and/or drug dependent are required to demonstrate participation in an ongoing support or recovery program. Additionally, they are required to document involvement in such a program through letters from support group letters that contain certain minimum information as required by Secretary of State rules. Petitioners often fail to meet these requirements, especially in the case of “non-traditional” support systems such as church or friends and family. Furthermore, petitioners who are required to be involved in support groups are often unable to explain how their involvement assists them in maintaining their abstinence and sobriety.

Contact Our Driver’s License Reinstatement Attorneys

The driver’s license restoration attorneys at The Davis Law Group, P.C. have a reputation as leaders in our area of practice. We understand the hardships faced by those who have lost their driving privileges despite their best efforts to work toward reinstatement. We have helped thousands of clients across Illinois as well as those who now reside out-of-state. If your driver’s license is revoked in Illinois, contact us today for a free initial consultation.