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What is the Sentence for DUI in Illinois?

Updated on June 2, 2022 → Under

The DUI criminal defense attorneys at Dohman Law Group represent people charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Cook County, Lake County, DuPage County, Will County Kane County, Kendall County and throughout Illinois. Our legal practice primarily focuses on the area of DUI defense. We strongly encourage any person charged with a drunk driving offense to contact a qualified attorney to discuss the circumstances of their case immediately after DUI arrest. Contact our DUI criminal defense law firm today at847-359-4005 to schedule a no-cost initial consultation.

What are the Criminal Penalties and Sentences for a DUI in Illinois?

It’s crucial to understand you aren’t alone after an impaired driving arrest. Every year in Illinois over 35,000 people are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Although the criminal penalties of a DUI can differ based on how your drunk driving case plays out and if your DUI criminal defense attorney gets your drunk driving charges dropped or reduced, here are the potential sentence for DUIs offenders may face:

  • Any drunk driver convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol may face a maximum prison sentence of one year and is subject to pay a monetary fine of up to $2,500.
  • For a second DUI conviction within five years of the previous criminal violation, the DUI offender must serve a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 days in prison or 10 days of community service.
  • For a third or fourth DUI conviction within five years of a previous criminal violation, the DUI offender has committed the criminal offense of aggravated driving and is guilty of a class 2 felony offense, which is punishable by between 3-7 yrs of imprisonment and up to $25,000 in monetary fines. Penalties are enhanced for a blood alcohol content of 0.16 or more.
  • A fifth DUI conviction is a Class 1 felony offense punishable by between 4-15 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $25,000. Criminal penalties are elevated for a blood alcohol concentration of 0.16 or higher.
  • A six DUI violation is a Class X felony offense punishable by between 6-30 years in prison and a maximum fine of $25,000. Criminal penalties are elevated for a blood alcohol content of 0.16 or higher.
What is the Sentence for DUI in Illinois?

Additional Penalties for DUI with a Blood Alcohol Level of 0.16 or More

  • A first-time DUI offender whose blood alcohol content was 0.16 or more is subject to an additional mandatory minimum fine of $500 and a mandatory minimum sentence of 100 hours of community service.
  • Any individual convicted of a second DUI conviction within 10 years of a previous criminal violation whose blood alcohol level was 0.16 or higher at the time of the second violation is subject to an additional mandatory minimum jail term of two days and an additional mandatory minimum fine of $1,250.
  • A person who is convicted of a third DUI within 20 years of a previous conviction whose blood alcohol content was 0.16 or more at the time of the third violation is subject to an additional mandatory minimum prison term of 90 days and an additional mandatory minimum fine of $2,500.

A DUI offender who commits a DUI offense while transporting a minor child is subject to an additional two days in prison, an additional mandatory minimum fine of $1,000, and an additional mandatory minimum of 140 hours of community service, which must include 40 hours of service that's beneficial to children.

Driver’s License Revocation Periods

  • Any drunk driver who is convicted of a DUI criminal charge will have their driver’s license revoked. Generally, a first-time offender is subject to a license revocation period of one year. The DUI offender, however, must apply for license reinstatement after the expiration of one year. The license reinstatement may be granted. If, however, the DUI offender’s blood alcohol level was 0.16 or greater, an application for license reinstatement can't be made until two years have elapsed.
  • An individual who is convicted of a second DUI within 20 years of the first violation may not make a license reinstatement application until after five years have passed.
  • An individual who is convicted of a third DUI within 20 years may not make a license reinstatement application until after the expiration of 10 years.
  • Any person whose driver's license was revoked for drunk driving may or may not be eligible to apply for a restricted driving permit because of hardship.
  • Any person who is convicted of a fourth or subsequent DUI offense can't apply for license reinstatement.

Will a First-Time DUI Offense Ruin My Life?

A DUI criminal offense doesn’t have to damage your life. If you hire an experienced DUI criminal defense lawyer, fight your DUI charges, and negotiate a good plea bargain, you may move forward with your life with minimal changes. If your DUI criminal defense attorney can win your DUI case or get your drunk driving charges dropped, you won’t even have a DUI on your public driving record.

However, if you choose to go to a court trial without a proper criminal defense representation, odds are high you’ll get a conviction, which can ruin your life. To understand how a first-time DUI offense will affect your life, and how you can stop that from happening, here are some legal consequences involved.

Loss of Driving Privileges

The most immediate consequence of a drunk driving charge is the suspension of your driver's license. You'll face a driver’s license suspension even if you aren’t convicted--unless you take swift legal action. After a first-time DUI conviction, you’ll face a 12-month license suspension. And if you are an underage driver, your driving privileges will be suspended for 2 years. Not being able to drive to visit family, see friends, to work, to a doctor’s visit, or to run errands is a good way to ruin your life.

Criminal Sentencing for DUI in Illinois

Jail Time

The criminal penalties for impaired driving vary based on how many traffic violations you’ve had, the details around your DUI, and the judge’s mood. But all drunk driving charges carry jail time. As a first-time offender, you might be subject to a minimum jail time of 364 days in jail and if your blood alcohol concentration was 0.16% or higher, you may face a maximum sentence of 364 days in jail. If you had a minor in your motor vehicle, you may be subject to six months in jail.

Career Options

Even after serving your prison sentence, a criminal record doesn’t go away. Every time you send job applications, you must disclose your criminal record. Most potential employers verify this information through a background check. Often, a DUI is a liability, and it’s looked down upon. Thus, it impacts how “hirable” you’re. Fortunately, hiring an experienced DUI lawyer to defend you can get you acquitted or get your DUI criminal charges dropped, which is a perfect way to protect your reputation, and eventually your career.

Financial Consequences

The biggest effect of a DUI charge is the price tag. DUI offenses are notoriously costly. You have to pay a monetary fine of $1,000 for a first-time offense. Also, there are unofficial heavy fines that are billed as court fees and other expenses. For a first DUI offense, these court fees range between $1,000 to $2,600, and they could be much higher. Further, you may be requested to attend a mandatory DUI school. Here, you’ll pay for a drunk driving school course or alcohol evaluation and treatment program out of pocket.

The alcohol treatment program lasts for three to 30 months and costs $500 to several thousand dollars. Your vehicle may also be impounded after your drunk driving arrest, and you must pay for each day it stays in the impound lot. Further, license reinstatement comes with its own expenses. Further, having a DUI on your public driving record will raise your car insurance premiums because your insurance carrier will see you as a risk.

Let Our Firm Help You Beat Your DUI

Even the cheapest DUI expenses run to several thousands of dollars. To prevent DUI charges from ruining your life any further, hire a DUI criminal defense lawyer. At Dohman Law Group, we have helped hundreds of DUI offenders get their intoxicated driving charges reduced or even dismissed, and we can help you get a successful outcome. Contact our Chicago criminal defense law firm today at847-359-4005 to schedule a no-cost initial consultation.

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