What is a Statutory Summary Suspension? When a driver is arrested for a DUI, he/she is asked by the police officer to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test to determine if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is greater than .08 or if there are any drugs in their system. If the driver is driving on a public highway and refuses the test or if they have a BAC greater than .08 or drugs in their system, the secretary of state is notified and they will suspend the person’s driver’s license.
How long is the suspension? If the driver is a first time offender as defined by the secretary of state, and he/she refuses to take any of the chemical tests, the driver’s license will be suspended for 12 months. If the driver is a first time offender and his/her BAC is greater than .08 or has drugs in the system, the suspension will be for 6 months. First offender is defined by the secretary of state as someone who has not had a prior dui, statutory summary suspension or a dui reduced to reckless driving within the last 5 years.
What if the driver is not a first offender? If he/she refuses the chemical tests, the driver is looking at a 3 year suspension. If he/she submits to the test and has a BAC over .08 or drugs in the system, it is a 1 year suspension.
Is there any relief? If the driver is a first offender, he/she is eligible for a MDDP permit. With the permit, the driver can drive during the statutory summary suspension period as long as he/she agrees to have a BAID device installed in the car. The device is expensive, and will periodically require the driver to blow into it to make sure the driver is not drinking. The permit is not allowed for a driver who is not a first time offender.
Can the suspension be rescinded? Yes, the driver should consult an attorney as soon as possible after the DUI arrest because there are ways to challenge the statutory summary suspension. However, time is of the essence. In the next blog, I will talk about how a statutory summary suspension can be rescinded.