Mar 15


After a conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs in Illinois, there is a mandatory period of driver’s license suspension. In the most severe cases, the DUI offender can even have his or her driving privileges revoked indefinitely.

In order to regain driving privileges in Illinois, which is referred to legally as reinstatement, the DUI offender must complete a series of requirements. In general terms, driver’s license reinstatement in Illinois involves the following four steps.

Attend Initial Consultation

The first step toward reinstatement is the initial consultation. This meeting takes place between the DUI offender and an informal hearing officer. The hearing officer reviews the DUI offender’s case file and driving record. Then the hearing officer details all of the documents and requirements necessary for reinstatement.

Satisfy Alcohol and Drug Requirements

For DUI offenders with a suspended or revoked driver’s license, Illinois mandates certain alcohol and drug requirements. Specifically, the offender must complete an evaluation and receive one of the classifications below:

  • Minimal Risk: The DUI offender must complete an approved alcohol and drug education course;
  • Moderate/Significant Risk: In addition to all minimal risk requirements, the DUI offender must complete alcohol and drug treatment, including intervention and continuing care; and
  • High Risk: In addition to all moderate/significant requirements, the DUI offender must provide six reference letters confirming their sobriety.

Attend Informal or Formal Hearing

Once a DUI offender satisfies the alcohol and drug requirements, he or she must attend an informal or formal hearing, depending on the circumstances of the case.

  • Informal Hearings: Available on a walk-in basis at locations across the state. Appropriate for first-offense DUIs and non-fatal offenses.
  • Formal Hearings: Available by written request and filing fee. Appropriate for repeat DUI offenders and offenses with fatalities or severe physical harm.

Receive Reinstatement Grant or Denial

After the informal or formal hearing, the state decides whether to grant or deny the request for reinstatement. If the state denies the request, the DUI offender must wait to request another hearing. If the DUI offender was denied based on:

  • Informal Hearing: Then he or she can either wait 30 days for another informal hearing or request an immediate formal hearing; and
  • Formal Hearing: Then he or she must wait 90 days to request another hearing for driver’s license reinstatement.

If the state grants the request for driver’s license reinstatement, the DUI offender must meet the additional requirements below:

  • Obtain proof of financial responsibility in the form of minimum liability automotive insurance;
  • Pay reinstatement fee and other applicable charges;
  • Install breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID); and
  • Complete the Illinois driver’s license exam.

At that point, with driving privileges full reinstated, the DUI offender can obtain a new driver’s license and get back on the road.

Do You Need Legal Help?

No matter what the criminal offense, all charges are serious. A sound strategy and an aggressive defense are essential for a positive outcome. To protect your rights in such situations, it is highly advisable to retain legal counsel from an experienced criminal defense attorney.

The Prior Law Firm in Bloomington, Illinois, has proven experience in matters of criminal defense. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free consultation. You can reach The Prior Law Firm by phone at (309) 827-4300, email at or by completing an online form.