New Illinois Sign and Drive Law Helps Protect Your Rights During a Traffic Stop

Schaumburg, IL Traffic Lawyers

Your driver's license is so much more than just a card. It is your key to the world. Beyond simply needing it to operate a motor vehicle, you need your driver's license any time you need to prove your identity, such as when you make an age-restricted purchase, attempt to enter an age-restricted venue, or even applying for a loan.

Losing your driver's license, even temporarily, can prevent you from performing many of your daily tasks.

Bill 2583

In May 2014, Bill 2583 passed in both houses. On August 9th, it was signed into law. Now, Illinois drivers are not required to post their driver's licenses as bail for the tickets they receive for certain traffic violations.

Under Illinois' new Sign and Drive law, motorists who are ticketed for these offenses may simply sign their tickets as their promise to appear in court or pay the fine. Any motorist who does not comply with this requirement may have his or her driving privilege suspended.

Why Would a Driver Have to Give Up His or Her License?

Any driver who is ticketed for a moving violation has to post some kind of bail for his or her ticket. In most cases, a driver's license is the most convenient way for a driver to post bail.

The following are considered to be moving violations in Illinois:

  • Failure to use turn signals;
  • Speeding or driving below the roadway's minimum speed limit;
  • Driving while intoxicated;
  • Driving without wearing a seat belt; and
  • Running a red light or a stop sign.

Upon being issued the ticket, a driver must immediately hand his or her license over to the police officer in most cases.

Your Driver's License as Bail

In Illinois, drivers who are ticketed for moving violations are required to provide bail for their ticket. The bail is the collateral that they give to show that they intend to pay the ticket's fine or appear in court to fight it. Previously, drivers had the following four options for their bail:

  • Pay $75 at the police station following the ticketing ;
  • Give up their driver's license as collateral until they appear in court or pay the fine;
  • Surrender their bond card. A bond card is an inexpensive card that can be obtained from one's insurance provider and used in place of a driver's license in cases where the driver is required to give his or her license up because of a ticket; and
  • In rare cases, an officer would allow the driver to simply sign the ticket as bail. Although this was accepted, it was uncommon.

For drivers without a bond card or quick access to $75, handing over their driver's license was their only option. This disproportionately affected low-income individuals and caused excessive hardship for otherwise law-abiding citizens.

Protect Your Rights During a Traffic Stop

You might not know how to respond to your first traffic stop. Police officers can be intimidating and in the moment, you might forget some of your rights. Always remember the following during a traffic stop:

  • If you are not under arrest, you have the right to leave the scene;
  • You have the right to remain silent during questioning. If you choose not to speak with law enforcement at a traffic stop, state your decision clearly before refusing to speak further;
  • You do not have to allow law enforcement to search your vehicle or your body; and
  • You have the right to work with a lawyer if you are arrested.

Be polite with the officer and never allow yourself to get into an argument or a shouting match with him or her. You have nothing to gain by being rude or disrespectful to an officer. In fact, refusing to cooperate with law enforcement can create more problems for you during and after the traffic stop.

Know Your Rights and Choose an Experienced Schaumburg Traffic Lawyer

At Glasgow & Olsson, we know your rights as a motorist. If you have been ticketed for any type of moving violation in Cook County, contact our firm at 847-577-8700 to discuss your situation with one of our team's experienced Contact Us. For professional traffic attorney services, contact our firm for a free consultation.