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.