Please note that we’ve restructured the site to include a state-by-state directory. Click the following for the Illinois DUI page.
We’ve had many requests for Illinois, so here it is:
In the comments (below) a reader makes an excellent point. Illinois law requires the driver to “surrender” the license by handing it over. We still suggest keeping the window closed and showing the license to the officer by pressing it up against the window.
Why? First, the officer doesn’t need to hold the license in his or her hands. And most officers will not know about the language of the statute.
Second, even if the officer does know it still puts him in a difficult position. If you refuse to open the window, does he smash the window in? That creates a real problem for the officer because it’s a serious risk of an excessive force lawsuit and there is at least one case saying it is excessive force.
So as a driver you have to make a choice. If the officer orders you to hand over your license, it is a lawful order. You should obey the law. At this point you have to make your own choice. Do you have other concerns that outweigh obedience to this law and its consequences.
One argument is that the law itself is an unconstitutional infringement of your Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure. The government’s minimal interest in physically holding your license does not outweigh your much greater constitutional right.
If you believe you are at risk for a DUI charge or perhaps a drug charge, the benefit of refusing to roll down your window may outweigh the consequences.
There is a third way. When you get stopped but before the officer reaches your window, tape your license to the outside of your window. Now he can get it without you having to roll the window down. It may be difficult to do this but if you can prepare ahead of time it might help.