SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. John D’Amico, D-Chicago, and Secretary of State Jesse White are working to strengthen Illinois’ drunk driving laws and send a strong message to those who choose to drink and drive, by passing legislation through the House on Monday raising the standard for judges who choose to reinstate suspended drivers before their suspension is complete.
“Someone who is convicted of drinking and driving is a threat to everyone on the road,” said D’Amico. “Judges owe it to the public to provide a good reason for why someone who has received a DUI is back on the roads so quickly.”
Currently, the Secretary of State can automatically suspend driving privileges 46 days following a person’s arrest for a DUI while the courts decide on an appropriate punishment. A driver whose license has been suspended by the Secretary of State may request a court review the suspension.
Under current law, a judge has the power to cancel the suspension without providing a basis for the decision. Under the D’Amico and White-led legislation, House Bill 5042, any court order canceling a suspension for drunk driving must contain a reason as to why the driver does not have to complete their suspension. The transparency measure strengthens Illinois’ drunk driving laws by forcing judges to provide the public a reason why drivers arrested for a DUI are allowed to drive before the completion of their sentence.
“Combating the dangers of drunk driving remains one of my top priorities as Secretary of State,” said White. “My goal is to make our roads as safe as possible and drunk driving jeopardizes the safety of everyone on the road, including the impaired driver. This legislation provides an additional measure to keep unsafe drivers from getting behind the wheel, requiring the courts to explain the rationale for rescinding a statutory summary suspension. I want to thank Rep. D’Amico for his continued work to keep our roads and motorists safe.”