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Eligibility for a Monitoring Permit During the Statutory Summary Suspension Period

Jennifer Wirth Attorney at Law
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After a DUI arrest, a person may be eligible for a Monitoring Permit (MDDP) or hardship permit from the Illinois Secretary of State during the period of statutory summary suspension.

When a person is arrested for DUI, they often receive notice that their driving privileges will be automatically suspended within 46 days, pursuant to the statutory summary suspension law in Illinois. A person may have grounds to challenge the suspension through a hearing in court within a ninety-day period. However, if a challenge is unsuccessful, a person facing a summary suspension of their driving privileges may be eligible for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP).

To be eligible for an MDDP, a person must be a first offender and have an interlock device installed while operating their vehicle. An MDDP allows an eligible first offender to drive during the summary suspension period if those conditions are met for any purpose – 24 hours day, seven days a week. 625 ILCS 5/6-206.1.

There are certain instances where the Secretary will not issue a MDDP despite being a first offender. This includes cases where the person’s license is otherwise invalid, the underlying DUI involved death or great bodily harm, the person has a prior conviction for reckless homicide or aggravated DUI involving a fatality, or the person is under the age of eighteen at the time of their DUI arrest.

A person is considered a “first offender” for MDDP purposes if it has been at least five years since any prior DUI arrest that resulted in supervision or a conviction. 625 ILCS 11-500. A person who is not a first offender does not qualify for an MDDP. If a person is not eligible for an MDDP, a person may still be able to petition the Illinois Secretary of State for a permit at a hearing. If grounds exist, a person may also try to challenge the suspension in court if they are within the ninety-day window to file a challenge.

Upon receiving notice of the summary suspension, the Illinois Secretary of State should send an eligible first offender written notice that they are able to obtain an MDDP upon meeting the requirements for issuance. If a person does not have their current address on file with the Secretary of State, they should contact the Springfield Secretary of State office at 217-782-7065 to ensure the MDDP packet is delivered to the correct residence.

Our office handles hearings with the Illinois Secretary of State to request a hardship permit when a person has a summary suspension that is prolonged and producing a recognized hardship in their life. A person may be able to present a case at a Secretary of State hearing to request a hardship permit for specific purposes, such as work or school, during the suspension period. If you would like a free consultation about our services regarding hardship permits, please contact our office via email at jennifer@wirthlaw.org or call (312) 761-8290.

The information on this website does not create an attorney-client relationship and it does not constitute legal advice. The law may change after this article has been posted. Please consult with a qualified attorney on the specific facts of your case.

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