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Sign and Drive: A Step Forward for Illinois Drivers

sign and drive, traffic violation, Illinois criminal defense attorneyWhen you have been pulled over for a traffic violation, there are probably about a dozen different thoughts going through your mind. What did I do? How much will this cost me? Will I lose my license? All of these questions are perfectly understandable in such a situation. Depending on the violation, of course, the impact to your wallet and driving record may certainly be fairly serious. However, thanks to Illinois’ new “Sign and Drive” law that took effect this year, your license can no longer be taken as bail during a roadside traffic stop.

Old Rules

Prior to the law taking effect, a law enforcement officer could confiscate your driver’s license on the spot if you were pulled over for most traffic violations. The old laws required drivers cited for traffic offenses to post bail ensuring they would pay their fine or appear in court to contest the ticket as necessary. This left most drivers with three options: pay $75 at a police station, present a bond card (often available from an insurance carrier), or surrender their drivers’ license. According to reports, however, some drivers were not given a choice at all, and their licenses were confiscated.

The driver’s copy of the ticket permitted him or her to continue driving legally but did not address the countless other uses of a state-issued photo identification. Ticketed drivers were left unable to purchase alcohol, board an airplane, or even write a check in many cases. Fortunately, the state legislature recognized the problem and passed the Sign and Drive law last summer.

Understanding Sign and Drive

Under the new law, if you are pulled over for a traffic violation, you are no longer in danger of having your valid license confiscated. Instead, you are simply required to sign the issued citation indicating that you will adhere to its terms by either paying the necessary fine or appropriately appearing in court. Absent any other reason for you to be detained, you are free to go.

It is important, however, to comply with the instructions that accompany a traffic citation. Failure to do so can result in suspension of your driving privileges by the Office of the Secretary of State. You should be able to have your suspension lifted once you have resolved the ticket, but you may incur additional expenses and hassle.

If you have been cited for any type of traffic violation and have questions about how to proceed, contact an experienced DuPage County criminal defense attorney. Our knowledgeable team will review your case and help you understand the options available to you. Call 630-260-9647 to schedule your free initial consultation.

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