DUI Laws in Illinois

The Illinois DUI law is codified in 626 ILCS 5/11-501. There are many nuances to a case which determine what level of a crime you may be charged with and what your penalties will be. Some of the factors that affect the level of crime you are charged with and what penalties you face include:

  • your criminal history,
  • what your blood alcohol level was at the time of the incident,
  • whether there was a crash,
  • whether you were transporting a minor under the age of 16 at the time and whether that minor was injured,
  • whether the crime was committed during a time when the driver's driving privileges were suspended, revoked, or restricted,
  • whether the driver was driving in a school zone,
  • whether a death resulted in the accident or serious bodily injury.

All of these facts plus numerous others dictate what level of a crime you will be charged with and what the fines, fees, and penalties will be. The following is a general idea of some typical DUI charges and what penalties the driver might face under the Illinois law as of 2010. This list is not exhaustive. There are many more enhancements under the law. To know exactly what you are facing, contact attorney Linda Watson for your free consultation today.

FIRST CONVICTION: CLASS A MISDEMEANOR:

  • Class A misdemeanor which carries a fine up to $2,500 and up to a year in jail. It also carries a minimum suspension of your driver's license for one year upon conviction.
  • If the driver was under the age of 21 at the time of the offense, then it carries a minimum suspension of your driver's license for two years.
  • If the driver's blood alcohol content was over .16 the driver will also be required to pay a minimum, i.e. no less than $500 fine, and must perform at least 100 hours of community service.
  • If the driver was transporting a child under the age of 16, a conviction may also require six months imprisonment, an additional mandatory minimum fine of $1,000 and 25 days of community service in a program benefiting children.

AGGRAVATED DUI: CLASS 4 FELONY:

A conviction for an Aggravated DUI is a Class 4 felony which can result in a fine of up to $25,000 and up to 1 to 3 years in prison.

  • An aggravated DUI is a person who drives while under the influence and has one of the following aggravating factors:

- driver was operating a school bus with persons 18 years of age or younger on board;

- the driver was driving in a school zone when the reduced school zone speed of 20 mph was in effect and the driver was involved in an accident that resulted in bodily harm only, i.e. no great bodily harm or permanent disfigurement;

- the driver's driving privileges are revoked or suspended due to a previous conviction for: DUI, or an accident resulting in death or personal injury, or for reckless homicide;

- the driver did not possess a valid driver's license or a restricted driving permit, or a judicial driving permit or a monitoring device driving permit;

- the driver knew or should have known that the vehicle they were operating was not covered by a liability insurance company;

- the driver was involved in an accident that resulted in bodily harm, not great bodily harm to a child under the age of 16 being transported by the driver if DUI was the proximate cause of the injury. A conviction for this last aggravated factor carries with it an additional penalty of a mandatory penalty of $2,500 and 25 days of community service in a program benefiting children.

SECOND CONVICTION:

CLASS A MISDEMEANOR:

  • A second conviction for DUI is still a Class A Misdemeanor but has an increased penalty of a minimum term of either 5 days of imprisonment or 240 hours of community service plus the standard fine of up to $2,500 and up to a year in jail.
  • It also carries a minimum suspension of your driver's license for five years upon your second conviction within 20 years.
  • If your blood alcohol level was .16 or more, there is an additional mandatory imprisonment of 2 days and a minimum fine of $1,250.

TRANSPORTING PERSON UNDER 16

If the Defendant is convicted of a second DUI and was transporting a person 16 years old or less is a Class 2 Felony which can result in a fine up to $25,000 and from three to seven years in prison. There is also a mandatory minimum fine of $2,500 and 25 days of community service in a program which benefits children.

If the Defendant is convicted of a second DUI and was transporting a person 16 years old or less who suffered bodily harm, it is a Class 2 Felony which can result in a fine up to $25,000 and from three to seven years in prison. There is also a mandatory minimum fine of $5000 and 25 days of community service in a program which benefits children.