How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Illinois?

Updated on 04/10/2023 / Under

A DUI conviction in Illinois remains on your criminal record for life, regardless of whether it has been expunged. This information may be visible on permanent driving record background checks performed by employers or insurance companies.

However, it may be possible to have the charge sealed or restricted after some time and by demonstrating alcohol treatment rehabilitation through the payment of an alcohol safety program fee and the completion of a substance abuse program.

For help with an ongoing charge or sealing a record contact our experienced DUI attorneys today at (630) 425-0250.

How Long Will a DUI Stay on Your Record in Illinois?

DUI convictions stay on a person’s criminal record forever in Illinois. They can be used as evidence of prior offenses against them, regardless of the time between incidents. Driving privileges are revoked for at least one year after a criminal charge conviction for reckless driving or a drunk driving arrest.

Seeking expungement of a DUI conviction is only possible through a pardon from the governor or a strong defense which results in a “not guilty” verdict at trial. This means that a DUI conviction could have a lasting impact on a person’s record and driving abilities in Illinois.

How Does the DUI Lookback Period Affect Your License or a Second Offense?

In Illinois, DUI charges typically have a permanent presence on an individual's record, allowing past intoxicated driving charges to be taken into account during sentencing by the court.

However, even though Illinois criminal records don’t “expire,” state law does provide courts with leeway in sentencing for repeat offenders. There is a 20-year lookback period for second-time drunk drivers when it comes to licensing revocation matters, meaning that only offenses that occurred within the last two decades are at the court’s disposal for consideration during sentencing. Furthermore, those facing Statutory Summary Suspensions due to DUI have a five-year lookback period.

a DUI record in Illinois next to glasses and a gavel

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol comes with significant penalties in Illinois, including loss of driving privileges and costly fines, and costly insurance policies; depending on circumstances surrounding an incident, jail time may also be imposed upon conviction.

It is important to keep a clean driving record as the consequences increase in severity with each violation. For this reason, it is important to consider all aspects of possible sentences when making decisions regarding drunk driving cases in Illinois.

Seeking guidance from a criminal defense attorney at Naperville DUI Lawyer, regarding the state DUI Lookback Period can provide valuable information regarding potential consequences for criminal penalties, which may impact the court's decision.

Can You Seal a DUI Conviction?

A DUI conviction is a permanent mark on your record and can adversely affect your life through the revocation of driving privileges. In Illinois, a DUI charge can remain on your record indefinitely.

Removing a DUI charge requires expunging or sealing it. To seal a DUI charge, the individual must take a proactive approach and have no prior criminal convictions. They must also fulfill all probationary obligations and complete alcohol treatment and education classes, as well as community service for their DUI conviction.

Learn More: How can an Illinois DUI lawyer help you and your case?

After completing these requirements, they can petition the court to seal the DUI charge from their record. A 5-year lookback period is required after conviction before applying for sealing. Sealing a DUI charge can lead to mitigated penalties, prevent future sentencing repercussions, and avoid legal trouble.

If your DUI charge is successfully sealed from your criminal record, it will no longer be visible to potential employers, landlords, or lenders and will not be used against you in court proceedings

Can You Expunge a DUI Conviction?

Expungement erases an individual's criminal convictions from public records, databases, and court documents. It's usually available for less serious offenses like misdemeanors, petty theft, and certain driving violations. However, Illinois residents convicted of DUI cannot have their conviction expunged, regardless of their age at the time of the trial. The conviction will stay on their record permanently.

Illinois state laws do not allow for the expungement of convictions for driving while above the legal alcohol limit due to the potential risks associated with these crimes for society. DUIs are considered serious offenses in many states and result in harsher penalties and revocation of driving privileges. The permanent nature of these convictions serves as a reminder to those convicted and as a deterrent to driving under the influence of alcohol.

Will a DUI Conviction in Another State Show Up on Your Record in Illinois?

The Driver License Compact facilitates the sharing of driver information among almost every state, making it possible for law enforcement and DMV officials nationwide to access past DUI violations. Only Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee, and Wisconsin do not participate, but they still exchange driver details.

a man driving in Illinois with an open bottle of liquor

Moving to a new state with an old DUI felony offense on your record could lead to it surfacing in a simple background check by the new DMV. It's important to understand state laws because authorities can access criminal convictions or driving violations from one state to another.

How Long Does a DUI Affect Your Insurance?

Auto insurance companies take into account an individual's driving and insurance record, meaning a past DUI can affect insurance coverage and result in increased premiums or denied policies. Being charged with driving under the influence can hurt one's car insurance premiums.

Our research shows that having a DUI on your record can increase insurance company rates by up to 80% for both private and commercial drivers, often for several years. While the exact impact of drunk driving charges on your insurance coverage may vary depending on several factors, such as the state you live in or who is your insurance agent, expect to see higher insurance costs for three to five years even if your driving record remains unblemished during that time.

Quick Tips: 10 Ways to Beat a DUI in Illinois

However, if you get into an accident or receive another traffic infraction during those three to five years, the effects of the DUI on your car insurance rate could be compounded. Depending on how severe the subsequent offense is, it could potentially cause your auto insurance cost to skyrocket even further. Drivers with drunk driving convictions need to be extra careful behind the wheel to minimize their chances of incurring any type of penalty while they are dealing with their DUI-related penalties.

Steps to Take When Facing a DUI Charge

To navigate DUI charges, hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. Naperville DUI Lawyer in Illinois has defended clients throughout the state. Our criminal attorneys provide creative legal representation and personalized attention to each client. We handle cases involving both alcohol and drug felony driving charges with the highest level of care to ensure a favorable outcome.

If you or someone you know is facing impaired driving charges in Cook County, Dupage County, Lake County, Kane County, Will County, or elsewhere in Illinois, it is important to contact a Naperville DUI Lawyer promptly. Our firm provides complimentary consultations for individuals who are facing charges related to driving over the blood alcohol limit.

Our criminal defense law firm is committed to guiding you through the legal process with expertise and empathy and will work to achieve the best possible outcome for your case. Contact our criminal defense attorneys today at (630) 425-0250 or online to receive additional details about our exact process.