First Offender | Illinois DUI | MDDP

Eligibility for driving permit during summary suspension

by Sami Azhari on October 22, 2010

During a period of statutory summary suspension, some defendants may qualify for a driving permit. The permit is called a Monitoring Device Driving Permit. The permit is referred to as an MDDP by attorneys and the courts. The statute is 625 ILCS 5/6-206.1 of the vehicle code.

The MDDP is a permit allowing the defendant to drive his vehicle anywhere, anytime provided his breath alcohol concentration is less than 0.05 percent. The driver’s BAC is checked by a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID). Installation of the BAIID is mandatory. No one is required to purchase the BAIID. Rather, it is available for rent from commercial BAIID installers.

The MDDP is not valid during the first 30 days of the summary suspension. It goes into effect on the 31st day of the summary suspension, so everyone must serve a 30-day period in which they cannot drive whatsoever.

Generally, the costs of a BAIID are the following:

  • $30 per month to the Secretary of State for every month of the summary suspension in which it can be used (ie, every month after the first 30 days).
  • $80 installation fee.
  • $5-$15 monthly rental fee.
  • $80 de-installation fee when the summary suspension has terminated.

The costs can vary by installer and the type of BAIID rented. These are only estimates.

A person is eligible for the MDDP only under certain circumstances.

First, the person must meet the definition of first offender under 625 ILCS 5/11-500. The statute defines a first offender as a person who has had no summary suspensions or DUIs within the last 5 years.

Second, the driver must also meet all the following criteria:

  1. The offender has, other than the summary suspension, a valid driver’s license.
  2. The offender did not cause death or great bodily harm in the DUI with which he is charged.
  3. The offender has never been convicted of reckless homicide.
  4. The offender is at least 18 years old.

If any of the preceding qualifications are not met, then the defendant cannot receive the MDDP. See 625 ILCS 5/6-206.1(a)(1)-(4).

If there is any doubt about eligibility, the written confirmation of summary suspension that the Secretary of State mails to the defendant will indicate “FIRST OFFENDER – YES.”

Recently, problems have arisen in court over the meaning of first offender. While the Secretary of State interprets the statute to mean no prior DUIs or summary suspensions in the last 5 years, some judges, especially in the Cook County in the Third Municipal District in Rolling Meadows, are not interpreting section 11-500 in the same manner. These judges are requiring that the defendant have no prior summary suspensions or DUIs ever, rather than in just the last 5 years. This is true even where the written confirmation of suspension says FIRST OFFENDER – YES.

It is expected that the law will change in 2011 so that the process of obtaining an MDDP will be removed from the court system and conducted at the Secretary of State. Prominent DUI attorneys who were instrumental in passing this law have spoken publicly that the reason for this was because of judges not honoring the true meaning of first offender.

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