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Illinois penalties for DUI conviction

On Behalf of | Aug 19, 2022 | DUI Defense |

Illinois’ laws that apply to drunk driving (officially called “driving under the influence” or “DUI”) are complicated and usually cannot be mastered without considerable study. However, understanding the types of offenses that can lead to drunk driving charges and the penalties that apply upon conviction may help drivers avoid the most serious types of violations.

First conviction

Illinois defines drunk driving by the amount of blood in the defendant’s blood stream (BAC). The legal limit is 0.08%; a driver whose blood alcohol count (BAC exceeds the limit is presumed to be intoxicated.

A first conviction for a DUI is a Class A misdemeanor. The penalty is a revocation of driving privileges for one year (two, if the driver is under age 21). If the driver’s BAC exceeds 0.16%, the court can sentence the defendant to a fine of $500.00 and require a mandatory minimum of 100 hours of community service. Additional penalties apply if the defendant was transporting children under the age of 16.

Second conviction

A second conviction is also classified as a Class A misdemeanor. The driver can be sentenced to imprisonment for 5 days or required to provide 240 hours of community service. If the defendant’s BAC exceeds 0.16%, the penalties can be increased by adding mandatory imprisonment of two days and requiring payment of a fine of $1250. Also, driving privileges can be revoked for five years if the offense is the second conviction within 20 years of the first violation.

Third conviction and beyond

A third conviction (also called “aggravated DUI”) is a class 2 felony. Driving privileges are revoked for a minimum of 10 years. If the driver’s BAC exceeds 0.16% the court can require mandatory imprisonment for 90 days and order payment of a minimum fine of $2500.

Fourth, fifth and sixth or more convictions entail very serious penalties, including lifetime revocation of driving privileges and a mandatory minimum fine of $5,000. Sentences are also increased if the defendant was transporting children under 16 years of age.

The statute also lists several factors that can increase the sentence to a felony classified as Aggravated DUI.

As can be seen, conviction on a DUI charge can have a serious negative impact on a person’s life. Anyone facing DUI charges may wish to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney for an evaluation of the evidence, possible defense strategies, and, when appropriate, assistance in negotiating an acceptable plea agreement.