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How Long Do Traffic Offenses Stay on Your Record in Illinois?

Updated on March 15, 2023 → Under

Violating traffic rules isn't something you should take lightly. The amount of fatalities because of motor vehicle accidents that occur when motorists ignore traffic rules and regulations are many. So, it's crucial for people to follow these regulations.

However, you might be in a rush and, without realizing it, you may exceed the speeding limit. Many states , including Illinois follow a points system, which isn't lenient traffic offenders when it comes to speeding tickets. Traffic offenders may face severe consequences, including loss of driving privileges, hefty fines, increased insurance rates, and even jail time. Many people wonder how long traffic offenses stay on your record after being cited for a traffic violation.

If you're facing a traffic offense in Illinois, our experienced Rolling Meadows traffic lawyers can help you keep a clean driving record. For schedule a free initial consultation, contact our Rolling Meadows criminal defense law firm today at 847-616-9993.

How Long Do Traffic Tickets Stay on Your Public Driving Record in Illinois?

The policies concerning the number of years which a traffic violation will remain on your driving record vary from state to state. When it comes to unpaid tickets and speeding tickets, the traffic offenses will remain on your criminal record for a minimum of 4-5 years. However, this isn't always the case.


If your driver's license is suspended or revoked because of the traffic points, the traffic offense will be a part of your record for seven years. The guidelines regarding traffic offenses are strict in Illinois, and thus traffic offenders are likely to face severe penalties. Hence, you should be cautious and plan your schedule accordingly so that you won't have to resort to speeding, especially when you're running late.

How Long Does a Drunk Driving Charge Stay on Your Record in Illinois?

In Illinois, any drunk driving criminal offense, including a DUI, will remain on your public driving record forever. If you’re convicted of intoxicated driving, your driver's license will be revoked for a minimum of one year, if that is your first-time DUI offense.

In Illinois, a driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs conviction will stay on your public driving record for life. Although the period between intoxicated driving charge can influence the consequences of subsequent DUI offenses, your first drunk driving offense is always viewed as a previous offense. Further, in Illinois, the only way to get expunge a DUI conviction is through a governor’s pardon. This means that if you went to a court trial after a DUI arrest and were found “not guilty,” your DUI arrest can be expunged. 

Will a DUI Ruin My Life?

Driving while drunk is illegal in the U.S. But the gravity of the criminal penalty differs from state to state. If you're caught driving while intoxicated, which is commonly defined as driving with a blood alcohol content at or above 0.08, the drunk driving charge will also appear on your driving record, besides other criminal penalties. Also, a DUI will also appear on your public criminal record. These two criminal records follow you throughout your entire life, and any drunk driving convictions can make it challenging for you to get a driver’s license, especially if you're a commercial driver.

FAQ: Can a DUI record be expunged?

Usually, a drunk driving criminal charge can lead to a license suspension. Also, the traffic offender may have to serve jail time or receive probation depending on their DUI charges, carry SR-22 insurance, pay heavy fines and license reinstatement fee. A first-time drunk driving offense is a misdemeanor offense. However, based on your blood alcohol limit or if there was any reckless driving involved, your offense may be converted to a felony offense. A previous DUI conviction or subsequent offenses can increase the possibility of you getting a DUI conviction and mandatory jail time.

Again, a DUI conviction can increase your insurance costs. Since a DUI charge is a criminal offense, it can also hinder your ability to find a new job. That's because you'll have to disclose your DUI conviction to any potential employer during your job applications. Most state laws allow for incarceration for an intoxicated driving conviction. However, this punishment is handed out at the discretion of the criminal court. A skilled DUI criminal lawyer can help you get a lesser sentence or with any expungement.

How Long Do Traffic Offenses Stay on Your Record in Illinois

Most states, including Illinois, often use a points system to monitor traffic violations, and a drunk driving charge is a serious moving violation. States that use a points system assign several points for a DUI, while other states, including Illinois, suspend your driving privilege for a DUI or you may be subject to other severe consequences instead of assigning points. 

The duration of a DUI charge will affect your criminal record also vary from state to state. Often, intoxicated driving will affect your public driving record for five to 10 years, and in Illinois, a drunk driving criminal charge will remain on your driving record permanently. Thus, an impaired driving charge can have a long-lasting effect on your life, and it can even ruin your life because it may hamper your ability to find a job.

Point System for Speeding Tickets in Illinois

The point system in Illinois assigns points for all kinds of traffic violations. If you're charged with a speeding ticket, you can get points 5 to 50 depending on the speed above the legal limit. If the speeding is between 1-10 miles per hour above the speeding limit, you'll be assigned 5 points for that. The number of points gradually increases with an increase in the speeding limit.

The last limitation is to drive 25+ miles per hour above the legal limit. Here, you'll receive 50 points on a single ticket. Apart from that, if you're caught for speeding in a construction zone or a school area, you'll receive 20 points for that.

How Long Does a Traffic Offense Affect Your Insurance in Illinois?

Another considerable concern for drivers who accidentally exceed the speeding limit and are caught because of it is the auto policy and how their insurance rates will get affected. Unfortunately, a speeding ticket is a moving violation, and insurance companies that this into account. Your insurance company may check your criminal records for past three or even four years. The primary factors that'll determine how your insurance rate will increase include:

  • The number of tickets on your criminal record.
  • The total points that you've received for these traffic violations.
  • If there are other traffic charges against you or not.

Learn More: Penalties For Driving Without Insurance

While these factors can affect your insurance policy, it's also crucial to note that not all traffic tickets will result in such outcomes. For example, parking tickets won't affect your insurance payment plan at all. Your insurance provider is concerned about your driving and how much you're a risk to yourself and others when on the roadways. 

The Chicago traffic ticket attorneys at Dohman Law Group have decades of combined experience defending traffic offenders throughout Illinois. From Chicago traffic tickets to those issued throughout Illinois, including Lake County, Cook County, Kane County, Kendall County, and DuPage County, our criminal defense attorneys are dedicated to helping you keep a clean record.

Our traffic ticket attorneys provide a free initial consultation to prospective clients. If you're looking for effective and knowledgeable legal representation, contact our Rolling Meadows law office today. Let us put our decades of experience to working for you. Explore our website and contact our skilled Chicago criminal defense lawyers today at 847-616-9993

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