Illinois Penalties for Drunk Driving
The State of Illinois takes the crime of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) extremely seriously and issues strong penalties when the law against drinking and driving is violated. Any Chicago-area driver should know about the penalties applicable to DUIs before getting behind the wheel after having a drink, and the ways those penalties can multiply for a second or third conviction. If you’ve been arrested in the Chicago area on suspicion of DUI, and have been called to appear before a judge in Bridgeview Courthouse or Markham Courthouse, contact Homewood DUI defense attorney John Fairman today to learn about your options in defending yourself against these claims.
In Illinois you can be arrested for a DUI where the police believe that you were driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. However, being under the influence of alcohol or drugs generally does not mean driving home with only one or two beers or drinks within your system. What the State has to prove is that you were driving with enough alcohol or drugs in your system to a degree that renders you incapable of safely driving.
Regarding DUI offenses you should first consider the following:
- Did the Police have Probable Cause to Stop you for a Traffic Violation;
- Did the Police Read to you All of Your Rights to Refuse DUI Testing;
- Did the Police have Reasonable Grounds to Believe that you were under the Influence of Alcohol;
- Do you Qualify for a Temporary Driver’s License by the Secretary of State; and
- Can the State prove their case against you beyond a Reasonable Doubt.
First-Time DUI Conviction
In Illinois, any driver with a blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, of 0.08% or more will be considered to be driving under the influence (a Class A misdemeanor) and will be subject to arrest. For a first-time DUI offense, a convicted individual can expect a maximum of one year of jail time, up to $2,500 in fines, and a six-month driver’s license suspension. If the driver refuses to consent to a chemical test of their blood, breath, or urine, then their license will be suspended for a full year. Convicted individuals may be eligible for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit, or they can challenge the suspension of their license, but the assistance of an attorney is recommended to succeed in such a request. If the driver’s BAC was 0.16% or more, that individual is subject to an additional $500 fine and up to six months in jail.
Second-Time DUI Conviction
If a driver is found to have been driving while drunk for a second time in the span of 20 years, this is also considered a misdemeanor offense. That driver will spend a minimum of either 5 days in jail, or serve 240 hours of community service, and could face jail time of up to a year. Further, that driver stands to lose their driving privileges for a minimum of five years. If the driver’s BAC was between 0.08% and 0.15%, they can expect a fine of up to $2,500, but will pay up to an additional $1,250 if their BAC went above 0.16%
Third-Time DUI Conviction
After two prior DUI convictions, a driver charged with a third DUI will be charged with a felony. This charge carries additional penalties and consequences, including a minimum jail sentence of three years, a maximum sentence of seven years, and a ten-year suspension of their drivers’ license. Additionally, the court can impose fines of up to $25,000.
Help is Available to Fight Serious Illinois DUI Penalties
If you’ve been ordered to appear at the Markham or Bridgeview Courthouse on charges of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, don’t put your future in jeopardy by failing to hire an experienced, knowledgeable, and aggressive criminal defense attorney to represent your interests before the court. Make sure that your rights to remaining innocent until proven guilty and to receiving a fair trial are preserved throughout the entirety of your criminal trial. For all criminal charges being heard at Markham Courthouse or Bridgeview Courthouse, contact the seasoned Homewood criminal defense attorney John Fairman for a consultation on your case. Call today for a consultation on your case, in Homewood at 708-799-4848, and in Bridgeview at 708-960-4806.