A Driving Under the Influence (DUI) case has two separate parts: the initial suspension of your license, (1 year suspension if you did NOT submit to a breath test and 6 months if you did and provided a breath sample (BAC) over 0.08), and the criminal charges.
The Statutory Summary Suspension is from the Illinois Secretary of State. Whether you end up being found guilty or pleading guilty to the DUI, this suspension is separate from the DUI charges. Here, you agree by holding an Illinois Driver’s License that if a police officer stops you and believes that you were driving under the influence of alcohol you agree to be suspended. The Statutory Summary Suspension is NOT based upon whether you were under the influence of alcohol- – it is based on whether the police officer was reasonable in thinking that you might be. Often a Judge will decide that the police officer was reasonable in believing you were driving under the influence of alcohol but that you actual were not.
If the Judge decides that the officer was reasonable, this alone is enough to keep your license suspended- – even if the Judge decides that you were not guilty of driving under the influence.
This may seem confusing but this may help. In order for the license suspension to stick, all the State’s Attorney has to prove is that the officer was reasonable in believing that you MIGHT me under the influence of alcohol. Further, all the State’s Attorney has to do is to prove by 51% of the evidence that the officer was reasonable.
However, at the trial on the DUI, the State’s Attorney has to prove that you are guilty, “beyond a reasonable doubt” (85% – 90% (up to the Judge or Jury what beyond a reasonable doubt means). Because the two (statutory summary suspension and DUI tickets) have different burdens of proof, it is possible to get different results on each.