About ten years ago, our local law enforcement, judiciary and legislators were repeatedly humiliated on a daily basis by the Chicago Sun-Times. What did the Sun-Times do?
All it did was send a reporter and photographer to a different traffic court every day and find a suspended or revoked driving defendant. After taking notes on the “slap on the wrist” that the defendant received, and the (sometimes) stern warning from the judge not to drive until they had a valid license, the reporter would then follow the driver out into the parking lot and watch as he or she would get into his car and drive off.
Day after day there were pictures and photographs of these suspended or revoked drivers who were thumbing their noses at the law.
So, in response our legislators passed one tough law after another against suspended or revoked drivers in the hopes that the Sun-Times would lay off. But they didn’t, so the laws just kept getting tougher and tougher.
Now, for example, if you drive just one time on a DUI suspension, you can be charged with a felony case, have your car forfeited, and you face a minimum of 30 days in jail (and possibly one to three years in prison!). A fourth one would be a minimum 180 days in jail and a 10th would be a minimum two years in prison. 625 ILCS 5/6-303
Another thing to come out of this are the regular “sting” operations that police and sheriff do at local traffic courts. They will be prepared with a list of all the license plate numbers of all the suspended or revoked defendant’s who are scheduled to be in court that day, and will be prepared to pull them over. Also, they may follow revoked or suspended drivers out of court and into the parking lot (even private parking lots in downtown Chicago!).
Therefore, if you have a suspended or revoked driver’s license, consider yourself warned that you are facing a tough sentence and that the police will be motivated to catch you.
Instead of driving, consider consulting with an attorney to see if your license can be reinstated.