Getting arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Illinois will probably mean spending a night in jail. The charges you face could carry incarceration, fines and other penalties if you wind up convicted or you plead guilty.

There is also a strong likelihood that you will lose your driver’s license or at least that the state will suspend your license temporarily because of your impaired driving charges. The combination of these penalties can have a significant impact on your life. Just the loss of your license for a while could impact your ability to work or care for your family.

Mandatory license suspension is common for those facing impaired driving charges in Illinois. There are multiple ways in which you could lose your license in the process of a DUI arrest or going to court over DUI charges.

A conviction or guilty plea carries a mandatory license suspension

Temporary suspension of someone’s driving privileges is one of the standard penalties associated with a DUI conviction in Illinois. The circumstances at the time of someone’s arrest and their previous history, as well as their age, will impact how long the suspension lasts.

The first time you get arrested for impaired driving, you will typically face a license suspension for at least one year if you wind up convicted or plead guilty. A second offense carries a minimum license suspension of five years, and that minimum suspension increases to 10 years for third DUI offenses. Those with fourth or subsequent offenses could face the permanent suspension of their license.

People who refuse chemical testing can also lose their license

Under Illinois implied consent law, the state has the right to suspend your license if you refuse to take a breath test during a traffic stop where the officer alleges reasonable cause for ordering the test. The first time you refuse to perform a breath test, you could lose your license for a year. Any refusal after that could result in the loss of your license for three years.

Fighting against charges and pushing for your legal rights, including the reinstatement of your license, is an important consideration for anyone facing DUI charges in Illinois. Avoiding even a first DUI conviction when facing charges can help you avoid the inconvenience that comes with a suspended license. Carefully reviewing your situation and options can help you make decisions that align with your best interests after getting arrested for allegedly driving while under the influence.