Illinois state law requires courts to suspend the licenses of all DUI offenders, even if they have no previous record. The Illinois State Police cite several statistics as the reason for Illinois’ tough DUI laws. The department notes that hundreds of lives are lost each year due to drunk driving, and hundreds more victims suffer permanent disability. Also, millions of dollars in needless property damage results from DUI accidents.
Like all states, Illinois law mandates increased license suspension periods for repeat offenders, as well license suspensions for underage drivers under the state’s zero tolerance law. Further, state law requires the Secretary of State to suspend the licenses of any driver who refuses to take a chemical sobriety test. Aggravated DUI convictions result in lengthy suspensions.
Under Illinois law, if you are caught driving under the influence of drugs, such as marijuana or heroin, you face DUI charges. Unlike with alcohol, the officer does not need to find evidence of a certain level of toxicity to make an arrest. Drivers caught using illicit drugs and driving face the same suspensions as those caught driving over the legal alcohol limit. Individuals caught driving while using prescription drugs may also face DUI charges if the drugs significantly impaired driving ability.
The legal limit
Driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) over .08 constitutes DUI in Illinois for those over the age of 21. Drivers who display dangerous driving behavior due to intoxication can face DUI charges even if the state cannot prove a BAC of .08 or over.
Illinois drivers who are arrested for DUI automatically have their licenses suspended. Summary suspension is an administrative procedure that works separately from the criminal process. Even if criminal charges are dropped, summary suspensions stand.
First time offenders who test .08 or higher face automatic 6-month suspension. Repeat offenders face automatic one-year suspension.
First time offenders who refuse a chemical sobriety test face automatic one-year suspension. Repeat offenders face automatic five-year suspension.
Drivers license suspension for first-time offenders
A first DUI conviction results in a minimum 1-year suspension of full driving privileges. Judges are free to impose harsher sanctions. Illinois law expressly forbids plea bargains to lesser charges for first-time DUI offenses, so there is no method of avoiding the 1-year license suspension.
Full driving privileges means the right to drive anytime, anywhere, without restrictions. Illinois law allows some offenders to obtain provisional privileges to allow them to work. First time offenders are also eligible for a monitoring device driving permit (MDDP).
The MDDP allows the offender to drive his or her vehicle with an ignition interlock device. This device requires the offender to blow into it. It then reads the offenders BAC. If the offender blows below a .005, the car starts; otherwise, the car remains immobilized.
First time offenders must still serve the first 30 days of their administrative suspension before becoming eligible for the MDDP, so first-time offenders always have at least 30 days with no driving privileges.
Drivers license suspension for second-time offenders
Second convictions of DUI result in minimum five-years loss of full driving privileges. Offenders also face mandatory five-days imprisonment or 240 hours of community service.
Drivers license suspension for third-time offenders
Third-time offenders face a minimum ten-year loss of full driving privileges. They also face a maximum fine of $25,000. Judges also must impose a sentence of 18-30 months periodic imprisonment or up to seven years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Under a periodic imprisonment program, inmates leave the jail for a certain number of hours per week in order to work. The number of hours they are free starts at 40 but increases to 65 if they demonstrate good behavior. Inmates must spend at least one full day per week in jail. They also must pay program fees.
Aggravated DUI suspensions
Illinois law defines aggravated DUI as a class-4 felony. Drivers commit this crime when their intoxication causes an accident where a victim suffers great bodily injury of permanent disfigurement. Aggravated DUI convictions result in a minimum one-year loss of full driving privileges. Because aggravated DUI cases vary greatly in severity, judges may impose much higher suspensions under certain circumstances.
Aggravated DUI convictions also result in 10 days imprisonment or 480 hours of community service, a maximum fine of $25,000, and up to 12 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Drivers under the age of 21 face stiffer suspensions. They also face these suspensions if they have any level of intoxication, even if less than .01.
The first DUI conviction results in a loss of full driving privileges for a minimum of two years. The second DUI conviction results in a loss of full driving privileges for at least five years. A third DUI conviction results in loss of driving privileges for at least ten years, plus 18-30 months of periodic imprisonment or up to seven years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Learn more about DUI by reading this wikipedia page.