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License Revocation: DUI + Criminal Defense

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Many people know that an Illinois DUI conviction will cause the revocation of an Illinois driver’s license. However, an out-of-state DUI disposition can revoke an Illinois-licensed driver as well. As a law office that focuses on license reinstatement after a DUI revocation, we start every case with a preventative approach.

If you are currently facing a DUI charge, we’re here to help with a free consultation. We can explain what amended charges may prevent a revocation if you are contemplating pleading guilty. If the DUI cannot be reduced, we are happy to provide a consultation on the best steps to take prior to a license revocation to be ready for a driver’s license hearing as soon as you become eligible.

As license reinstatement attorneys, it is vital that we understand what dispositions and criminal offenses can cause a driver’s license revocation. Further, it is also important to be knowledgeable on criminal and DUI law. A significant portion of a Secretary of State hearing involves recounting the detailed facts of each DUI arrest in relation to your overall chronological alcohol/drug use history. We order the arrest reports for all DUIs and review them early to ensure all reporting is accurate.

Finally, DUI is not the only criminal offense that can cause a driver’s license revocation in Illinois. The Illinois Vehicle Code has many criminal grounds for mandatory license revocation (the Secretary must revoke a license) and discretionary license revocation (the Secretary may enter a driver’s licence revocation. For further reading on offenses that can cause a driver’s license revocation, please refer to our article on Mandatory and Discretionary License Revocations. For reference, we have listed the offenses that can cause driver’s license revocations below.

Mandatory Diver’s License Revocation

The offenses that trigger a mandatory revocation of an Illinois drivers license include, but are not limited to, the following under 625 ILCS 5/205:

  • Reckless homicide that results from the operation of a motor vehicle
  • Driving under the influence or alcohol, drug(s) or other intoxicating substances
  • Any felony in which a motor vehicle was used during the commission of the offense
  • Leaving the scene of a traffic accident that involves death or personal injury. For purposes of mandatory revocation under this provision, “Personal Injury” is defined as any injury requiring immediate professional treatment in a medical facility or doctor’s office. 625 ILCS 5/11-401.
  • Perjury or making a false affidavit to the Secretary of State relating to the ownership or operation of a motor vehicle
  • Conviction of three charges of Reckless Driving in a twelve-month period
  • Conviction of any offense defined in 625 ILCS 5/4-102 relating to damaging, removing parts or tampering with a vehicle, without authority to do so
  • Drag Racing and/or Street Racing
  • Violation of Chapters 8 and 9 of the Illinois Vehicle Code that involve carrying financial responsibility insurance for persons and/or businesses that have passenger transport vehicles, as well as vehicles for hire or rent
  • Reckless Conduct that involves the use of a motor vehicle and causes bodily harm, endangers the safety of another person and/or causes permanent disfigurement to another person. 720 ILCS 5/12-5
  • Aggravated Fleeing or Attempting to Elude a Peace Officer. 625 ILCS 5/11-204.1
  • Unlawfully operating a Commercial Motor Vehicle under 625 ILCS 5/6-507(1)(b)
  • Illegal transportation of alcohol, in cases where person is under the age of 21 and was previously convicted of illegally transporting alcohol. 625 ILCS 11-502
  • If revoked for reckless homicide, a second or subsequent conviction for driving on a revoked license or permit
  • The commission of any traffic offense that is the proximate cause of the death of another person
  • Unlawful display of disability license plates and/or parking decal of deceased person under 625 ILCS 5/11-1301.3(a-2)
  • A second or subsequent conviction of illegal possession of a controlled substance while operating, or in actual physical control of, a motor vehicle. The Judge shall make an entry in the court record that offense occurred while operating a motor vehicle and the clerk must report the violation to the Secretary of State
  • While unlawfully passing a school bus, a driver is involved in an accident that results in death to another and the violation is the proximate cause of death

Discretionary Driver’s License Revocations

If a person has not committed a violation that would trigger the mandatory revocation of an Illinois drivers license or permit, the Secretary of State may still exercise their discretion to revoke or suspend a person’s driving privileges under 625 ILCS 5/206.

The offenses that trigger a discretionary revocation of an Illinois drivers license include, but are not limited to, the following under 625 ILCS 5/206:

  • Conviction of three or more traffic offenses in a twelve-month period
  • A person has been deemed a habitual traffic offender through repeatedly committing traffic violations and/or being involved in accidents to the degree that it indicates a lack of care in operating a vehicle or signals a disrespect for Illinois traffic laws
  • A person has caused or contributed to a personal injury traffic accident while unlawfully operating a motor vehicle. For purposes of this provision, the injury must require immediate professional treatment in a medical facility or doctor’s office to any person involved in the accident
  • A person has permitted the unlawful or fraudulent use of a drivers license, identification card or permit
  • A person has been convicted of an offense in another state when, if it had been committed in Illinois, would be grounds for drivers license suspension or revocation
  • A person who is required to take a driving examination fails the examination or refuses to submit to testing. 625 ILCS 5/6-207
  • A person is deemed ineligible for a drivers license or permit under 625 ILCS 5/6-103. A person may be ineligible for a license for various reasons under this provision, such as age restrictions, as well as evidence of a drug/alcohol problem, medical issue or psychological condition that renders them unfit to safely operate a motor vehicle
  • While applying for a drivers license, identification card or permit, a person uses false information, makes a false statement or knowingly conceals a material fact. This provision is often used to suspend or revoke a drivers license if a person under the age of 21 obtains or attempts to obtain a Fake ID using false information, but may be used in other scenarios.
  • A person possesses, displays or attempts to fraudulently use any license, identification card or permit. As noted above, this provision is often invoked when a person under the age of 21 is in possession of a Fake ID, or presents a Fake ID to purchase alcohol or gain entry into a bar. However, this may be invoked in other scenarios, such as using false identification card to misrepresent citizenship status.
  • A person has driven on a suspended or revoked license on a public highway. This provision does not apply to persons who are lawfully driving on MDDPs or Restricted Driving Permits.
  • A person has unlawfully submitted to the application process on behalf of another person, or asked another to submit an application on their behalf, in an attempt to obtain a drivers license, identification card or permit.
  • A person has operated a vehicle when their license or permit was invalid under the driving restrictions that apply to persons under the age of 18. 625 ILCS 5/6-110 and 625 ILCS 6-107.1.
  • A person uses, displays or possesses a cancelled, revoked or suspended permit or license. This provision also prohibits a person from lending their license or permit to another person. 625 ILCS 5/6-301
  • A person has been convicted of Criminal Trespass to Vehicle. 720 ILCS 5/21-2
  • A person has been convicted of Fleeing and Eluding a Peace Officer, under 625 ILCS 5/11-204
  • A person has refused to submit to chemical testing under the implied consent provisions in the Summary Suspension Law, pursuant to 625 ILCS 5/11-501.1
  • A person has, since the issuance of their drivers license or permit, been adjudged to be afflicted with or suffering from any mental disability
  • A person drives with an invalid license or invalid permit, or has been convicted of driving in violation of the classification of their drivers license. 625 ILCS 5/6-101 and 625 ILCS 5/6-104
  • A person has been convicted of leaving the scene of an accident in which there is an excess of $1,000 in damages. 625 ILCS 5/11-402
  • A person has a violation for Unlawful Use of a Weapon while using a motor vehicle
  • A person has received a second conviction for Illegal Transportation of Alcohol within a year of a similar violation. 625 ILCS 5/11-502
  • A person has been convicted by court-martial or punished by military authorities for any offense that is similar to any of the offenses listed in the Mandatory and Discretionary Revocation laws outlined in 625 ILCS 5/6-205 and 625 ILCS 5/6-206
  • A person has violated any provision of Section 6-16 of the Liquor Control Act of 1934, including, but not limited to, sale/delivery of alcohol to a minor, possession of alcohol by a minor and/or consumption of alcohol by a minor. 235 ILCS 5/6-16
  • A person has been convicted for the first time of illegal possession of a controlled substance while operating or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle
  • A person has been convicted of a specified criminal sexual offense while operating or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle, such as criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual abuse or juvenile prostitution-related offenses.
  • A person has been convicted of aggravated discharge of a firearm while the person was located in a motor vehicle at the time the firearm was discharged. 720 ICLS 5/24-1
  • A person is under the age of 21 and has been convicted of more than two traffic offenses in a 24-month period.
  • When approaching a stationary vehicle with its’ lights activated, a person fails to exercise due caution and their conduct results in property damage, injury or death to another person. 625 ILCS 5/11-907(c)
  • A person fails to exercise due caution in changing lanes and reducing speed when entering a construction or maintenance zone while workers are present. 625 ILCS 5/11-908(a-1)
  • A person submits a falsified or altered Medical Report to the Illinois Secretary of State, or provides false information to obtain a Medical Report


If a person has their Illinois drivers license suspended or revoked, they may be eligible for a hardship permit or probationary permit, even if they are not eligible for full reinstatement. Depending on the reason for the suspension or revocation, an eligible revoked driver may attend a hearing with the Illinois Secretary of State to request a permit and/or drivers license reinstatement. In other cases, it may be more advantageous to try to clear up the reason(s) for suspension or revocation in court. For a free consultation, please contact our office at (312) 761-8290 or email our office at jennifer@wirthlaw.org.

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