Driving under the influence of alcohol carries significant penalties in most states, including Illinois. First-time DUI offenses can result in up to a year in jail along with significant fines and loss of license.
These are the answers to common questions about Illinois DUI laws.
What constitutes a DUI?
Blood alcohol content of at least 0.08% while operating a vehicle as measured by a blood test or breath test will result in a DUI charge. Drivers younger than 21 receive a DUI if the test detects any amount of alcohol in the blood. Drivers with a BAC of 0.16% or higher are subject to increased penalties.
What if I refuse a breath test?
Illinois has implied consent laws for DUI. This means if you drive in the state, you give consent for a blood test or breath test if an officer stops you for suspicion of DUI. Refusing to take a test results in an automatic one-year license suspension.
What are the penalties for a first-time DUI conviction?
If you receive a DUI conviction in Illinois with no prior DUI convictions, penalties can include:
- Up to 364 days in jail with a six-month mandatory minimum sentence for DUI with a child younger than 16 in the vehicle
- Up to $2,500 in fines, with a mandatory minimum fine of $500 for BAC over 0.16% and mandatory minimum of $1,000 for DUI with a child younger than 16
- 100 hours of community service for BAC over 0.16%
- One-year license suspension
- Mandatory substance abuse evaluation program
What is an aggravated DUI?
Certain DUI convictions are felonies. Aggravated DUI offenses include but are not limited to:
- Third or subsequent DUI offense
- DUI while driving for hire, such as while working for a ride-share company
- DUI resulting in bodily harm to another person
- DUI without a valid driver’s license and/or auto insurance
- Second DUI conviction while transporting a child younger than 16
Officers must follow proper procedure for a DUI arrest. Failure to do so may result in dismissal of your case.