A DUI MDDP “did you know?”

A veteran DUI defense attorney called me today to discuss a situation that had arisen with one of his clients.

The client had been suspended for a DUI, and had obtained a Monitored Device Driving Permit (“MDDP”) which allowed him to drive a motor vehicle during the suspension, so long as it was equipped with a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (“BAIID”).  Instead of driving his BAIID equipped vehicle, the client was caught driving a second vehicle that he owned, without a BAIID.  The client was charged with driving while suspended.

This attorney did the best he could for his client, and obtained an excellent disposition — court supervision, which traditionally has been sought by traffic attorneys for their clients on driving while suspended cases because (unlike a conviction) it does not trigger a doubling of the underlying suspension.

Or so he thought.

His client just got a notice that not only was his permit being cancelled, but also his suspension was being extended another year.

The attorney wanted to know:  “Is this really the law?”  The answer was “yes, it is.”

The statute for the MDDP provides that upon receiving either a conviction or court supervision for driving while suspended (or DUI, leaving the scene of an accident, reckless driving, drag racing, fleeing and eluding, or violating the terms of the MDDP) the MDDP shall be cancelled. 625 IlCS 11-206.1(c-1)

However, that is not all.  Upon such cancellation, the person shall have his or her suspension doubled.  625 ILCS 11-206.1(l).

So to reiterate, if you drive outside the bounds of your MDDP, you will not only lose your permit, you will have your suspension doubled.  And during that period, the only way to get any driving relief is if you go through a formal hearing process through the Secretary of State (and that hearing process will probably take almost as long to complete as your suspension).

Just another reason to read the fine print of your MDDP.  And not to try to take any shortcuts with the law.

(I should point out that this client still got a great deal — he could easily have ended up with a felony conviction, jail or prison time, and having his vehicle forfeited — just for driving a non-BAIID equipped car during his summary suspension).

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