DUI is a crime under Illinois law and you can be criminally charged for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If found guilty, punishments vary from fines to jail time with a mandatory license suspension.
Knowledge is power and this post will provide an overview of Illinois DUI Penalties so that you know what to expect if convicted of drunk driving. To learn more about your individual case, call our office today to get legal advice and counsel from our experienced DUI attorney in DuPage County.
When are You Considered Legally Drunk in Illinois?
If you are a non-commercial driver aged above 21, you are considered legally drunk with a blood-alcohol level of at least .08.
Commercial drivers are seen as legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is 0.4 or greater. In Illinois, school bus drivers are considered commercial drivers.
Drivers aged 21 and below are considered legally drunk with a blood-alcohol level above 0.
First Time DUI to Multiple DUI Offenses
If you are convicted of DUI in Illinois, you are subject to a maximum fine of $2,500 and could face up to a year in prison.
If you get a second conviction within five years of your first, you have to serve a mandatory 5-day sentence in prison or 240 hours of community service.
If your third or fourth violations come within five years of your previous one, you are said to have committed an aggravated DUI. This offense is considered a class 2 felony, subjecting you to a 3- to 7-year jail time punishment along with a maximum fine of $25,000. This penalty is increased if your blood-alcohol level at the time of your most recent violation was over 0.16.
A fifth violation is seen as a class 1 felony and has a maximum fine of $25,000, along with 4 to 15 years in prison. Once again, if your blood-alcohol level was above 0.16, the penalties are more severe.
Additional Penalties for Drivers With a Blood-Alcohol Level of 0.16 or More
If your BAC is above 0.16 upon your first violation, you will have to pay an additional fine of at least $500 and give a minimum of 100 hours in community service.
If you are convicted of a second violation within ten years of your first, and you have a blood-alcohol level of 0.16 at the time of your second violation, you will have to serve an additional mandatory prison term of two days along with an extra fine of at least $,1250.
If you are convicted of a third DUI violation within 20 yearsand your blood-alcohol level at the time of your third conviction was over 0.16, you will have to serve a minimum of 90 days in prison and pay an additional minimum fine of $2,500.
Additional Penalties for DUI Drivers Carrying a Child Aged Below 16
If your vehicle is carrying a child aged less than 16 at the time of your DUI conviction, you will have to serve an additional two days in prison, pay an additional minimum fine of $1,000, and give a minimum of 140 hours to community service, out of which 40 hours should be dedicated to a service that benefits children.
Can You go to Jail For your First DUI in Illinois?
A first offense DUI is considered a Class A misdemeanor in the state of Illinois, which means that if convicted, you could face up to one year in jail. First offenders are rarely sentenced to jail time, but the prosecutor may advocate for it in instances where a drunk driver caused an accident, had a weapon or illegal drugs in the car, resisted arrest, assaulted an arresting officer, or had a child in the car with them.
In some instances a first DUI arrest can result in aggravated DUI charges. This is a felony charge so jail time is more likely to occur. Aggravated DUI charges can be presented if you:
Were driving without a valid license
Committed a hit and run while intoxicated
Caused an accident that led to bodily harm or death
Were driving while drunk while operating a taxi or working for a rideshare service
Your vehicle was not covered by liability insurance at the time of the arrest
DUI offenders get their license revoked for a certain period.
If you are a first time DUI offender, you will generally have your license revoked for a year. After that one-year period, you must apply for reinstatement, which might or might not be granted. However, if your blood-alcohol level at the time of conviction was 0.16, you cannot apply for reinstatement until two years have passed from the day of license revocation.
If you get a second DUI conviction within five years of your first, you will not be allowed to apply for reinstatement until five years have elapsed from the day your license was revoked.
If you are convicted of a third DUI within 20 years, you will not be able to apply for reinstatement before ten years.
After a fourth DUI conviction, you will lose your right to apply for reinstatement.
Repeat offenders will have to install an ignition interlock mechanism for a period considered suitable by the Illinois Secretary of State.
Additional Penalties for Commercial Drivers
If you are a commercial driver convicted of a DUI, you will be disallowed from operating any commercial vehicle for a period of at least one year. This minimum period will increase to three years if you were transporting hazardous items at the time of your conviction.
If you commit a second DUI offense while driving a commercial vehicle, you will be disqualified from driving a commercial vehicle for life, although the ban might or might not reduce to a period of 10 years.
School Bus Drivers
If a school bus driver commits a DUI offense while carrying a person aged under 18, they will be guilty of aggravated DUI. The penalty for aggravated DUI is a maximum fine of $25,000, along with a possible prison sentence of 1 to 3 years.
Drivers Below 21 Years of Age
An underage driver convicted of DUI will have their license stripped. Besides, they might be required to take part in Illinois’ Youthful Intoxicated Drivers’ Visitation Program. This program involves supervised visitations at a number of facilities. This includes rehabilitation facilities that care for victims injured by drunk drivers, facilities that care for severe alcoholics, and even the county morgue. The purpose is to let the minor observe the detrimental effects of alcohol and DUI.
These penalties are in addition to all other penalties that might be imposed as per Illinois DUI laws.
As this article shows, a DUI charge in Illinois can get messy and complicated, and the charges can vary from case to case. Therefore, if you have been charged with DUI, it is best to consult an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible. Contact our DUI attorneys in Naperville today.