In Illinois, DUI Convictions carry some of the most severe penalties in the United States. An individual will be subject to high fines and the loss of driving privileges and could possibly also serve up to 1 year in jail for a first-time offense.

Drinking Alcohol and Driving

Illinois has an “Implied Consent Law,” which means that the driver agrees to abide by the law as a condition of being able to drive. This “Implied Consent Law” means that any individual who is in actual physical control of a vehicle in Illinois has implicitly consented to provide a breath, urine, or blood sample to a police officer who has arrested the person with probable cause in order to test for any substance or compound that is in violation of Illinois DUI law.

Illinois is strict about these legalities and has several acts to keep society in check, including

  • Illinois controlled substances act
  • Community protection act
  • Intoxicating compounds act
  • Medical cannabis program act

Illinois DUI law does not allow drivers who have a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level of .08 or higher to operate a motor vehicle. Illinois regards these individuals under the controlled substance as a person incapable of driving. Please also note that the legal BAC level is different for Commercial Drivers (CDLs) and minors.

  • .04 for CDLs
  • .00 for minors (otherwise known as the Zero Tolerance Policy)

Medical Marijuana and Illegal Drugs

Illinois has recently passed laws allowing for the use of medical and recreational marijuana (cannabis). As with alcohol, a person is not allowed to operate a vehicle under the influence of marijuana or any illegal substance. Driving while under the influence of alcohol, other drugs or drugs, intoxicating compound or compounds, or any combination thereof, the law renders the person incapable of driving safely.

They are also not allowed to transport marijuana unless it is in a sealed container that is not accessible while driving. If the driver of a vehicle is suspected to be impaired, they will be subjected to a field sobriety test.

Failure or refusal of the test will result in the automatic suspension of the person’s driver’s license. As of July 29, 2016, any person with a THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) level of 5 nanograms or more per milliliter of whole blood OR 10 nanograms or more per milliliter of other bodily substances may be charged with Driving Under the Influence of Drugs and/or Intoxicating Compounds.

Understanding DUI Penalties

DUI Illinois First Offense

A judge in Illinois may use a range of sentencing mechanisms for a DUI Illinois first offense, depending on the specific circumstances of your case.

Administrative Penalties

An Illinois first offense results in a six monthlong driver’s license suspension. However, there are certain cases (i.e., if great bodily harm was caused) where even a first-time DUI may result in a much longer license suspension.

Criminal Penalties

The penalties for a first-time offense are up to 1 year of jail time, up to $2,500.00 in fines and fees, and a minimum 1-year driver’s license suspension. Your first Illinois DUI is considered a Class A Misdemeanor unless bodily harm was caused, in which case it could be classified as a Felony.

Legal Consequences of DUI

A DUI conviction on your record has both instant/immediate consequences and long-term consequences.

Legal Penalties

Legal penalties for a DUI offense often include fines, license suspension, jail time, or a mix of the two. Upon conviction, the accused person faces a range of legal penalties. These legal penalties include hefty fines, which increases in amount when you add court cost and legal fees. A DUI conviction also results in suspension of the diver’s license for a certain period of time or, sometimes, installation of an ignition interlock device on the vehicle.

The Long-term Consequences

The long-term consequences of a DUI offense result in affecting one’s eligibility for employment, insurance rates, and other opportunities. In addition to the immediate legal penalties, the consequences go further, as it can affect the

  • Employment prospects, as some employers may be reluctant to hire individuals with a DUI conviction on their record, especially in driving-related jobs.
  • Auto insurance rates often increase to a great extent after a DUI conviction.

Besides these, a DUI conviction results in a criminal record that affects various aspects of life. Plus, most of the time, it gets hard to get a DUI conviction expunged or removed from your criminal record.

To navigate your DUI arrest better, it is best to consult with an experienced attorney who can help you fight against the DUI charges and protect your rights.

Schedule a Free Consultation With One of Hirsch Law Group’s Skilled and Experienced Attorneys

DUI law is complicated and is constantly being updated and modified. If you have been arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of Alcohol, Drugs, and/or Intoxicating Compounds, please Contact a DUI Attorney within our law group. An experienced DUI attorney can help you understand how the law applies to the facts of your case.