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Legislation to strengthen drunk driving law passes House

4/25/2018, 11:56 a.m.
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White’s legislation requiring judges to explain the rationale for rescinding Statutory Summary Suspensions (SSS) is ...

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White’s legislation requiring judges to explain the rationale for rescinding Statutory Summary Suspensions (SSS) is moving on to the Senate after passing the House. House Bill 5042, designed to strengthen the state’s current drunk driving law, will prevent a SSS or revocation from being rescinded without a factual basis for the rescission from the court. White commended the Illinois House for approving HB 5042, sponsored by state Rep. John D’Amico (D-Chicago).

A SSS is an automatic suspension of driving privileges imposed by the Secretary of State’s office 46 days following a person’s arrest for DUI and/or refusal of chemical testing or submission to a chemical test that disclosed a breath/blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more, cannabis or controlled substances. A SSS is separate from subsequent criminal charges for a drunk driving offense.

Under the current SSS law, a judge may issue a rescission without providing an explanation. White’s office is then required to remove the SSS from the driving record. The legislation, which was recommended by White’s Traffic Safety Advisory Committee, will allow the Secretary of State to return the rescission order to the judiciary and the SSS shall remain on the motorist’s record until White’s office receives a factual basis for rescission from the court.

“Combating the dangers of drunk driving remains one of my top priorities as Secretary of State,” said White. “My goal is to make our roads as safe as possible and drunk driving jeopardizes the safety of everyone on the road, including the impaired driver. This legislation provides an additional measure to keep unsafe drivers from getting behind the wheel, requiring the courts to explain the rationale for rescinding a statutory summary suspension.”

The Traffic Safety Advisory Committee consists of 12 members, including Secretary White as chairman; state Representatives: John D’Amico (D-Chicago), Mike McAuliffe (R-Chicago), Marcus Evans (D-Chicago) and Michael Unes (R-Pekin); state Senators: Martin Sandoval (D-Cicero) and Michael Connelly (R-Naperville); David Bradford, Northwestern University Center for Public Safety; Lieutenant Colonel Chris Trame, Illinois State Police; Shannon Alderman, Illinois Department of Transportation; Jenny Burke, National Safety Council; and Lyn Warren, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.