A DUI (Driving Under the Influence) charge is a big deal, and if you’re been charged with a DUI, you probably don’t know what penalties you’re facing. If you’re charged with a DUI in the state of Illinois, here is what you can expect:

First Offense

A first offense DUI is considered a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois, meaning that offenders can face up to a year of incarceration; additionally, fines of up to $2,500 may be imposed upon the offender. These fines do not include court costs, medical costs associated with blood alcohol testing, or costs related to completing terms of service, and usually carry a $500 minimum payment requirement.

First offenders on DUI charges may also face administrative penalties including administrative license suspension. This suspension is generally six months, unless the offender refuses to consent to a breathalyzer or BAC test under implied consent law, in which case the suspension will last for 12 months. The offender may qualify for a restricted license or driving permit, Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID), or a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP) after the first 30 days of license suspension.

Second Offense

Second offenses are also considered Class A misdemeanors and carry a minimum five days imprisonment or 240 hours of community service. Driving privileges will be revoked for five years minimum if this is the second conviction within 20 years, and vehicle registration will be suspended.

For a second offense or subsequent offense within five years of the first offense, driving privileges will be subject to administrative sanctions of 12 months’ suspension; this number jumps to three years for offenders who refuse to submit to chemical testing under implied consent law.

Third Offense

A third offense is considered a Class 2 felony and an Aggravated DUI. It entails revocation of driving privileges for 10 years minimum, as well as vehicle registration suspension.

Fourth Offense

A fourth offense is also considered a Class 2 felony and an Aggravated DUI. However, the penalties are more severe than a third offense: driving privileges are revoked for life. Vehicle registration is also suspended.

Fifth Offense

Fifth DUI offenses are considered Class 1 felonies and result in permanently revoked driving privileges and suspended vehicle registration.

Sixth or Subsequent Offense

Sixth or any subsequent offenses for Driving Under the Influence are Class X felonies. The offender’s driving privileges are revoked for life and vehicle registration is suspended.

All DUI infractions become a permanent part of the offender’s driving record. For any offense, first, second, third, etc., penalties are increased when committed with a BAC over .16, while transporting a child under the age of 16, or while transporting a child under the age of 16 and becoming involved in a crash resulting in injury to that child. DUI offenses which result in felony charges are considered Aggravated DUIs. DUI offenses can result in felony charges when:

  • The offense is committed while driving a school bus with passengers under 18.
  • The offense results in permanent disability/disfigurement or great bodily harm.
  • The offense is committed while transporting a child under the age of 16 and becoming involved in a crash resulting in injury to that child.
  • The offense is committed without a valid driver’s permit or license.
  • The offense is committed while driving a vehicle-for-hire with passengers present.
  • The offense is committed without vehicle liability insurance.
  • The offense is committed after a previous conviction for reckless homicide as a result of a DUI.
  • The offense is committed while driver’s license has been revoked for reckless homicide, leaving the scene of an injury or death, or previous DUI.
  • The offense results in a death.
  • The offense is committed in a school zone during a restricted speed limit period and results in bodily harm.

DUIs are serious offenses with serious consequences. If you find yourself facing DUI charges, contact the competent and experienced lawyers at The Epstein Law Firm to discuss your options. For more information on the 2017 Illinois DUI penalties, click here to view the 2017 Illinois DUI Fact Book, published by the Secretary of State.

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