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What is a Statutory Summary Suspension?

Posted by Megan Lafata | Jul 22, 2020 | 0 Comments

What is a Summary Suspension?

A statutory summary suspension is the suspension of driving privileges as a result of a DUI. Once in effect, you cannot legally drive. A summary suspension goes into effect 46 days after the confirmation of a refusal to submit to testing or failure of chemical test. A confirmation does not automatically occur. It is initiated by the Secretary of State. This means, your suspension may not start until well beyond 46 days after an arrest for DUI. 

When your driver's license is confirmed to be suspended, you will receive a notice in the mail at the address on your driver's license. This confirmation will inform you of when the suspension goes into effect. Summary suspensions are separate and apart from a criminal DUI. You can be found not guilty of the DUI, but your license can remain suspended unless your suspension is rescinded. 

What is the difference between a DUI and a a Summary Suspension?

A DUI is a criminal offense where you can be put in jail, while a Summary Suspension is a civil suspension of your driving privileges. The reason a driver can be found not guilty of the DUI but still lose their license is the difference between the criminal and civil penalties. 

At a trial for DUI, the prosecutor needs to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the driver was impaired. This is an extremely high burden. In a summary suspension hearing, the burden is on the driver to prove by a preponderance of the evidence, that the arresting officer made a mistake during the investigation leading to the arrest of the driver for DUI. A preponderance of the evidence is a much lower burden than beyond a reasonable doubt.  At a summary suspension hearing, the state gets the opportunity to respond to any evidence the driver presents. if the driver decides to take the stand and testify on his own behalf, his words can be used against him at any subsequent hearing or trial. 

What is a rescission of a Summary Suspension?

A rescission is repeal of the order to suspend your driving privileges. Once the rescission order is entered you can legally drive, if that is the only suspension or revocation pending on your driver's license. A rescission order can be entered before the suspension even begins, which means the driver never has to miss anytime on the road. It can also go into effect after a suspension has started and get a driver back onto the road that same day. A rescission saves the driver the headache and hassle of a reinstatement hearing.

How do I get a rescission?

In Illinois, there are many different ways to rescind your summary suspension. A common method is no probable cause to stop the vehicle. This means the officer did not have a reason to stop the car because the driver did not break any traffic laws, or the officer did not have any other reason to stop the vehicle.

The next way to rescind a summary suspension is to show there was no probable cause to arrest the driver. Like no probable cause to stop the vehicle, no probable cause to arrest means the officer made a mistake arresting the driver because the driver was not impaired. 

The other methods to rescind a summary suspension are based upon what happens after the driver is arrested. If the officer failed to properly warn the driver of the impending statutory summary suspension upon a refusal or failure of any chemical testing, or if the chemical test was done improperly. In these instances, the court can grant a rescission. 

The law surrounding Statutory Summary Suspensions is complex. Talk to an experienced DuPage County DUI attorney to make sure you do everything possible to keep your license valid after being arrested for DUI. Call Lafata Law today for your free consultation.

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About the Author

Megan Lafata

Megan is the founder of Lafata Law LLC and former felony prosecutor. Megan is passionate about advocating for the rights of her clients and their families. 


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