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How Illinois’ Points System Factors into Driver’s License SuspensionsYou may have heard about the points system that Illinois uses for people who commit moving traffic violations. Each violation counts for a certain number of points that will go on your driving record. You could receive as few as five points for traveling 10 miles per hour or less over the speed limit. You could also receive as many as 55 points for a reckless driving conviction. There is a common misconception that Illinois will suspend your driver’s license once your points surpass a limit. The number of traffic tickets you receive in a 12-month period triggers a driver’s license suspension. The points system, along with your previous record of suspensions, is used to determine how long your suspension will last.

How It Works

Illinois will suspend the driver’s license of any driver 21 or older who committed three moving traffic violations in the past 12 months. For drivers younger than 21, the suspension triggers after two moving violations within 24 months. When your license is suspended, the state will add up the points from your previous traffic violations to determine the length of the suspension. For drivers 21 and older:

  • 15 to 44 points is a two-month suspension.
  • 45 to 89 points is a six-month suspension.
  • 90 to 99 points is a nine-month suspension.
  • 100 to 109 points is a 12-month suspension.
  • 110 points or more is a revocation.

Drivers younger than 21 will see their license revoked for having 80 or more points but are adding up points from only two violations. Some traffic violations result in an automatic suspension after the first offense, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

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Protecting Your Rights During a Traffic StopWhen a police officer pulls you over for a traffic stop, a million thoughts may be racing through your head – and none of them are good. The best thing you can do for yourself in this situation is to remain calm. The officer needed to have reasonable suspicion that you violated a law in order to stop you, but that suspicion is likely limited to a traffic violation. The officer will need more evidence in order to have probable cause to arrest you. Your job during a traffic stop is to behave reasonably and not provide information that may be used against you if you are charged with a crime.

Answering Questions

Allow the police officer to do most of the talking during the stop. It is his or her responsibility to explain the reason for your stop and bring up any suspicions that he or she may have. During your interaction with the officer, you should:

  • Treat the officer with respect;
  • Talk only when the officer has asked you a direct question; and
  • Politely decline to answer any questions that may incriminate you.

Lying to a police officer could lead to additional criminal charges against you if the truth is discovered. You may raise greater suspicion by declining a question, and the officer may arrest you if he or she believes you committed a crime. However, refusing to answer a question is not an admission of guilt.

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