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DUI Penalties in Illinois

Posted on in Criminal Defense

DUI penaltyThe state of Illinois considers drunk driving to be a serious crime, and with good reason. According to statistics compiled by the Illinois Secretary of State, hundreds of people every year lose their lives in accidents related to drunk driving. With that in mind, the state imposes severe penalties like jail time, fines, and license suspensions for anyone caught driving under the influence. Even people who do not test positive for alcohol and instead simply refuse to take the breathalyzer test can still face serious penalties for doing so.

Penalties for Drunk Driving

In Illinois, drunk driving penalties start to occur once a person's blood alcohol content passes 0.08 percent, provided that they are over the age of 21. Underage drinkers trigger separate zero-tolerance penalties if they blow anything above a 0.00. Assuming the driver is of age, the severity of the DUI punishments depends on how many DUIs the person has had in the past. For a first offense, the person can find themselves in jail for up to a year, along with a possible fine of up to $2,500. Additionally, first-time DUI convictions result in a license suspension for at least one year. Furthermore, if the person's BAC is more than twice the legal limit, they face a mandatory minimum fine of $500, along with 100 hours of community service.

A second DUI sees very similar penalties with a few alterations. First, the person's driver's license is revoked for at least five years rather than just one. Also, the person would face a mandatory minimum sentence of either five days in jail, or 240 hours of community service. These penalties become even more severe after the third DUI conviction, with a person's license being revoked for at least a full decade. The third DUI also triggers a much harsher mandatory minimum prison sentence, with violators sentenced to between three and seven years in prison. Beyond these standard penalties, everyone convicted of even a single DUI must have an ignition interlock device placed in their car. These devices function like breathalyzers and prevent people from turning on the car if they cannot pass the sobriety test.

Penalties for Refusing the Test

Even refusing to take the sobriety test can trigger serious legal penalties. This is because Illinois has an "implied consent" law, which means that people agree to submit to alcohol testing as a condition of getting their driver's license. A failure to take this test when asked can result in a suspension of a person's license for at least one year, with multiple refusals increasing the time.

If you or a loved one is currently facing DUI charges, contact experienced Kane County criminal lawyer Brian J. Mirandola. A dedicated criminal defense attorney can help you avoid serious criminal penalties that can follow you for life.
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Avvo Illinois State Bar Association Kane COunty Bar Association
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