(UPDATE: As of January 1, 2016, the 31-day window has been abolished.)

When you are charged with DUI in Illinois, the Secretary of State automatically suspends your license. The suspension starts on the 46th day after your arrest and can last six months, a year or even longer (especially if you don’t pay the reinstatement fee).

If this is your first DUI, you may qualify for a breath-activated ignition interlock device (BAIID), which will allow you to keep driving as long as you breathe cleanly into the device in order to start your car. But even if you qualify for a BAIID, Illinois law specifies that you cannot use it until the 31st day of your suspension.

Therefore, you have a 30 day-window, starting on the 46th day after your arrest, where you absolutely cannot drive.

But there may be one thing you can do. If you are charged with DUI, it is imperative that you consult an experienced DUI attorney immediately. An attorney can file a petition seeking to overturn the driver’s license suspension. If the petition is granted, then you will not lose your driving privileges. While the petition may be a long shot, the odds of success depend on you getting in as soon after your DUI arrest as possible.

If you have questions about this or another related criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

About mdkeenan

A criminal and school law attorney with over 17 years of experience, I have successfully represented clients all over the Chicago area. My practice includes DUI, felony, criminal, misdemeanor, homicide, internet crime, retail theft, traffic offenses, cyberstalking, drug crimes, weapons violations, domestic battery and juvenile crime. I also represent families involving school cases. My clients come from all over the Chicago area including Skokie, Wilmette, Niles, Northbrook, Glenview, Evanston, Winnetka, Highland park, Northfield, Park Ridge, Des Plaines and Mount Prospect. I am a member of the ACLU and the Illinois State Bar Association. I serve as a volunteer for First Defense Legal Aid. Se habla espanol.
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