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DUI Laws in Illinois


Under Illinois state law, a DUI constitutes “operating a motor vehicle while being impaired by alcohol or any other intoxicating controlled substance”. Legally, Illinois drivers are allowed to drive after alcohol consumption only if their blood alcohol content is less than 0.08%. However, the law gives the courts to prosecute a driver if they have a BAC level between 0.05 and 0.08% if they seem impaired though their BAC level was below the legal limit.

Statistics show that in 2008 408 persons died a result of alcohol related accidents within the state of Illinois. Since then the state has launched an all-out assault of drunk driving with the enactment of stiffer laws aimed at discouraging motorist to drink and drive.

Illinois is strict on drunk driving. Even if it is your first Illinois DUI, first time offenders under their “use it you lose it law” face immediate suspension of their driver’s license for at least one year if convicted in a court of law. In addition, Illinois DUI first time offenders may receive a prison sentence not exceeding one year, coupled with a fine of up to $2500. Matters get even worse if a child was found in the car when the arrest took place. Under these circumstances, he driver faces an additional $1000 and twenty-five days community service. If bodily harm came to that minor as a result of an accident, the fine can be increased up to $25,000.

Illinois second time DUI offence is treated as a ‘Class A” misdemeanor. Second tie offenders face a minimum five-year suspension of their driver’s license. In addition, upon arrest, they must spend at least five days in jail. If convicted, Illinois second time DUI offenders can receive up to up to one-year imprisonment and a maximum fine of $2500. If at the time of second DUI arrest, the perpetrator was transporting someone under 16 years old, the driver can be imprisoned for up to three years and fined up to $25,000. If second time offenders cause bodily injury as a result of their DUI, they also face up to twelve years in prison.

For those hardheaded individuals who are unfortunate enough to be pulled over for a third DUI, a hard road lies before them in the amount of fines and penalties they will face. Firstly, if convicted, Illinois third time offenders face up to ten years suspension of their driver’s license and jail time of up to seven years. They also must pay a fine of $2500. If a minor is present in the car at the time of the arrest, they must pay a fine of $25,000, give an additional 25 days of community service and face jail time for up to three years.

Those with four DUI offences or more face increased fines and jail time plus mandatory alcohol abuse rehabilitation and probation for up to 28 years. Some drivers may also be mandated to have ignition interlock devices attached to their vehicles that will prevent them from driving if they consume alcohol.

DALA Staff Writer
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