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.