What Happens If I Get A DUI/OWI in Wisconsin and I Have an Illinois Driver’s License?
If you have an Illinois driver’s license and you get a DUI in Wisconsin, will your Illinois Driver’s license be impacted? Yes, you will likely have an impact to your driving privileges in Illinois. It is important that you consult with an experienced DUI lawyer to evaluate your specific situation. Here are the top five questions and answers regarding getting a Wisconsin DUI when you have an Illinois driver’s license.
Top Five Questions and Answers about how getting A DUI/OWI in Wisconsin affects your Illinois Driver’s License
Question No. 1: Will Illinois Find Out About My DUI/OWI in Wisconsin?
ANSWER: The short answer is probably yes. Illinois will likely find out about your DUI/OWI conviction in Wisconsin. As of the date of this post, Wisconsin is not part of the Driver’s License Compact, so it will not directly report to Illinois. However, the conviction may be added to your national criminal record. If the Secretary of State of Illinois runs this background check, it may discover your DUI. In some cases, Illinois may not become aware of this information until you go to have your driver’s license renewed.
Question No. 2: Will My Driver’s License be Revoked for my Wisconsin OWI/DUI?
ANSWER: Yes. Once you are sentenced in Wisconsin on the DUI/OWI, your Illinois driver’s license will be revoked. This is perhaps one of the harshest things about getting a DUI/OWI in Wisconsin with an Illinois driver’s license. Depending on whether this is your first offense or not, your driving privileges in Illinois will be revoked for a minimum of 1 year. After the period of revocation has passed, reinstatement of your driving privileges is not automatic. You will have to go through an extensive and expensive process of applying to have your driving privileges reinstated with the Illinois Secretary of State.
Question No. 3: What Happens If I Refuse the Breathalyzer in my DUI/OWI in Wisconsin?
ANSWER: With limited exceptions, Illinois drivers can refuse to submit to chemical testing (for example, a breathalyzer, blood or urine test) for suspected DUI. There are no criminal penalties for a person’s refusal. However, depending on your DUI history, your license will be suspended for a minimum of 1 year when you refuse to submit. So, if the refusal is reported to Illinois, you may face a period of suspension of your Illinois driving privileges under the Illinois DUI summary suspension laws.
Question No. 4: Is There Any Relief or Waiver I Can Get So I Can Still Drive in Illinois While My License Is Revoked?
ANSWER: Possibly. In Illinois, you will have to apply for what is called a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP). You can find out if you are eligible for the RDP by meeting with a hearing officer at your local Secretary of State Office. In general, to be eligible, you must demonstrate that the revocation of your driver’s license is causing a hardship for you. You may be required to install a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) as a condition of being awarded a RDP.
QUESTION No. 5: Can Illinois Put Me in Jail for My DUI/OWI in Wisconsin?
ANSWER: No. Illinois cannot give you jail time for the DUI/OWI you received in Wisconsin. While a first OWI in Wisconsin is not a criminal offense, subsequent DUIs in that state can be jailable depending on various factors in Wisconsin. It should be noted, however, that Illinois can put you in jail for driving in Illinois when your Illinois driver’s license has been revoked because of the DUI/OWI you got in Wisconsin.
Illinois drivers, especially those living in the northern cities of the state, like Waukegan, drive frequently over the border into Wisconsin for relaxation and better taxes for things such as food items and gas. It is extremely important that you consult with an experienced Waukegan, Illinois DUI attorney to evaluate the consequences of your DUI/OWI in Wisconsin on your Illinois driver’s license. Attorney Anisa Jordan of The Jordan Law Firm has more than a decade of experience advising clients on DUIs and litigating DUIs at trial. Anisa is also familiar with the interplay between a DUI in Wisconsin and its consequences on an Illinois driver’s license. Contact the firm to set up a free consultation.