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Stricter Distracted Driving Law Could Cause More License SuspensionsIllinois lawmakers are trying to further crack down on distracted driving by changing the state's traffic laws. Starting July 1, 2019, using an electronic communication device while driving will be a moving violation for first-time offenders. Under the current law, this offense is not a moving violation until the second time a driver commits it. This minor change to the traffic law could add up to Illinois more frequently suspending drivers’ licenses because of multiple moving violations.

Consequences

The fines remain the same for using an electronic communications device while driving. The only difference is that they will apply after the first violation instead of the second. They include:

  • $75 for a first offense;
  • $100 for a second offense;
  • $125 for a third offense; and
  • $150 for a fourth or subsequent offense.

You face consequences that are more severe than fines if you commit this violation multiple times. Illinois will suspend your driver’s license if you are ticketed for three moving violations within a year’s time. The change to the law means that your first electronic device offense will count towards that moving violation total instead of being a warning. Illinois assigns points to each moving violation, which it adds up to determine how long your suspension will last. The electronic device violation is 20 points, and committing that same violation three times within a year could result in a three-month license suspension.

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Traffic Violation Points System Adds Up During License SuspensionMost convictions for traffic violations result in a fine and not the immediate loss of driving privileges. Contesting your traffic ticket may not seem worth the time or cost if the fine amount is inconsequential to you. However, being convicted for three traffic violations within a year's time will result in your driver’s license being suspended or revoked. Illinois has a points system for traffic offenses that determines the duration of the suspension.

Keeping Score

Serious offenses, such as driving under the influence of alcohol, require an automatic suspension of your driver’s license. For lesser offenses, a certain number of points is added to your driving record for each conviction. Illinois has a list of more than 100 traffic offenses, with point values ranging from 5 to 55. Highlights include:

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Proposed Illinois Law Would Strengthen Driver's License Suspension After DUI ArrestThe Illinois House of Representatives approved a bill that would create an additional requirement for rescinding a statutory summary suspension following an arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The law would require a court to provide the Illinois Secretary of State’s office with a factual reason for the decision before the office will comply with an order to rescind the driver’s license suspension. The bill still must receive approval from the Illinois Senate and governor before it becomes a law.

Statutory Summary Suspension

The Secretary of State can take civil action against a DUI suspect before a criminal trial by issuing a statutory summary suspension or revocation of the suspect’s driver’s license. The suspension applies to people arrested for DUI who either refused the blood alcohol concentration test or had test results that showed that their BAC was over the legal limit. The suspension begins 46 days after the suspect receives a notice of summary suspension. The duration varies, depending on the circumstances:

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