First and foremost, what exactly is a bi-state DUI? A Bi-State is a DUI where a person lives in one state and gets a DUI in another State. The repercussions of such a DUI could be catastrophic if you hire a lawyer who does not routinely handle these type encounters. As a general rule, this discussion will be one of general issues with an important caveat that the impact is drastically dependent on the laws of each state which is why it is crucial to retain the services of a lawyer who is familiar with the laws of both States involved. Additionally, it is crucial to understand not only the criminal side (jail, fines, etc.) but also the secretary of state side (the ability to drive in general).

Of important note, is that the Civil, Implied Consent hearing is separate and not dependent on the Criminal matter.  Therefore, as a legal matter, winning or losing one has zero impact on the other. However, most, not all, attorneys treat them together especially in Illinois where they tend to be handled by the same prosecutor (State’s Attorney) and tried in front of the same Judge. This, in my opinion, is a mistake since the evidentiary requirements for the admission of evidence is drastically different. Further, some attorneys will tell clients that the civil matter is not important and not even bother filing the proper paperwork to attempt to save your license. In this author’s opinion such (in)action borders on malpractice.

What Happens To An Illinois Driver Who Receives A DUI In Another State?

In Illinois, the Civil hearing is typically called a Statutory Summary Suspension hearing.  This is a non-criminal matter and is, as pointed out above, not related to the criminal trial/plea. Assuming that the Illinois driver has a valid license at the time they receive a DUI in Missouri or any other state for that matter, and refuses the chemical test, the Illinois secretary of state would suspend the driver’s privilege to drive for a minimum of one year and possibly longer if not the driver’s first offense. If the driver submits to the chemical testing, they would avoid and license suspension. Further, if the driver is subsequently convicted of DUI, Illinois may revoke the driver’s privileges.  If the encounter is the Illinois driver’s first DUI, their license will be revoked for a minimum of ONE YEAR. If the Illinois driver is under 21 when they commit such an offense, the revocation increases to a TWO YEAR term with the first year being ‘hard time’ meaning with no ability to drive.

As a general rule, the Illinois Secretary of State does not have the authority to revoke a non-Illinois resident’s driver’s license, however, they will Issue such a person an Illinois driver’s license and subsequently suspend that person’s right to drive in Illinois for up to 10 years.  Further, Illinois will upon expiration of the person’s license prohibit them from renewing their privilege until they participate in a formal hearing by placing a hold with the Problem Driver Point System (PDPS) located in the National Registry. The PDPS system is designed to advise other states of any revocations, and will prevent a license from being issued or renewed if another state has placed a hold on it.

Of important note, in Illinois if you are found driving a vehicle while your license is suspended for DUI you may be charged with a felony.