A DUI conviction can lead to serious consequences in Illinois

If you have been arrested for drunk driving in Illinois, you may face significant consequences depending on the circumstances surrounding your arrest. Many drivers are subject to a license suspension, fines, community service and jail time. An effective DUI defense strategy is essential to protect yourself from these penalties.

Generally, the first consequence most drivers arrested for a DUI will face is the suspension or revocation of their driver’s license. Drivers who submit to chemical testing and are determined to have a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more will have their driving privileges suspended for six months, if they are a first-time offender. Those who are repeat offenders, within five years, will have their driving privileges suspended for one year. Refusing chemical testing altogether will result in harsher license suspension penalties. A first-time refusal can result in a suspension of driving privileges for 12 months, while refusing multiple times within five years could result in a three-year suspension of driving privileges. However, first-time offenders may be given a Monitoring Device Driving Permit, which would allow them to operate vehicles with Ignition Interlock Devices installed.

In addition to a license suspension, DUI convictions often come with jail time and fines. First convictions are typically a Class A misdemeanor. Second convictions within 20 years will also be Class A misdemeanors, but will result in additional penalties, such as a five-year revocation of driving privileges and a minimum of five days in jail or 240 hours of community service. Third convictions and beyond will be classified as aggravated DUIs, resulting in anywhere from a Class 2 felony to Class X felony, and resulting in more significant fines, more jail time and possible revocation of driving privileges for life.