The Illinois General Assembly has created a statutory summary revocation of driving privileges Under 625 ILCS 5/1-197.6. This revocation is for a driver who refuses to submit to chemical tests after a DUI arrest involving an accident that causes personal injury or death to another. Before this law, if you refused tests, your license would be suspended for 1 year if you were a first time offender under 625 ILCS 5/11-500. Your privilege to drive would be returned once the suspension period expired after paying a reinstatement fee. Now, the driver will have an indefinite revocation for at least 1 year. They will have to have a hearing before the Secretary of State to ask for their driving privileges back after the year.
This is significant because it is very difficult and expensive to get the Secretary of State to return your driving privileges after a hearing. Also, the statute defines personal injury as a type A injury. This means if someone is taken to the hospital after the accident, it is a type A injury. Many people go to the hospital after an accident for precautionary reasons. Often times their injuries are very minor. Yet a person involved in such a minor accident is now subject to a statutory summary revocation rather than a suspension.
Lastly, a person can be found not guilty of the DUI criminal charges and still face a revocation because they refused to comply with chemical testing. That is a very harsh punishment for someone who is found NOT GUILTY of the offense that triggered the revocation.
Author: Dennis Dwyer