Getting Your License Back – Challenging an Improper Traffic Stop

If you are arrested in Illinois for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), your drivers license will be suspended 46 days after the date of your arrest.

This is before you have been either convicted or acquitted of the offense of DUI, and it is called a statutory summary suspension. All that is required for the Secretary of State to suspend your license is for the officer to issue a uniform traffic ticket for the offense of DUI and file a sworn report with the circuit court that he did so. The circuit court informs the Secretary of State of the traffic ticket and sworn report, and the Secretary of State suspends your license.

Depending on the facts of your case, the best way to get your license back here is to petition the court to rescind this statutory summary suspension. If successful, rescinding your statutory summary suspension will allow you to continue to lawfully drive and avoid either the continued suspension of your license or the expense and nuisance of having a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) installed in your vehicle.

The BAIID monitors your breath for alcohol before allowing the vehicle to start and requires random breath tests as you drive.

The statute allowing the petition to rescind the suspension limits the grounds you can insert to get your license back to four particular grounds.

The validity of the traffic stop in the first place is not one of the four particular grounds allowed under the statute, but the Illinois Supreme Court, in People v. Orth and subsequent cases has ruled that the driver may challenge the validity of a traffic stop in a hearing to challenge his or her statutory summary suspension. As a consequence, if there is doubt about the validity of the traffic stop (see previous posts), the traffic stop should be challenged, Effective Illinois DUI defense lawyers will assert your right not to be unreasonably stopped as a grounds to rescind your statutory summary suspension.