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potential consequences for a chicago dui

Every year, Illinois drunk or drugged drivers cause hundreds of deaths, hundreds of serious injuries and permanent disabilities, and millions of dollars in property damage, according to the Illinois State Police. As a result of these statistics, the Illinois legislature has passed laws providing for strict penalties against those convicted of DUI. The potential consequences become increasingly severe with each repeat offense.

Each year, the City of Chicago sees thousands of DUI-related accidents, and its police force makes thousands of DUI arrests. If you are convicted of a DUI in Chicago, here are the consequences for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd offenses:

First DUI conviction

Even first time offenders lose their full driving privileges for a minimum of one year. Judges are free to impose even longer suspensions and may do so based on their judgement of the offense’s gravity in comparison to other first time DUI offenses. Though full driving privileges must be suspended, offenders may be eligible for provisional licenses, which allow them to drive for necessary trips like work or medical appointments.

First time offenders also face imprisonment for up to one year. One year is the maximum because a first time offense counts as a misdemeanor. Most first-time offenders can avoid a jail sentence if they fulfill other terms of their sentences.

The maximum fine is $2,500.

Second DUI conviction

A second conviction results in a minimum 5-year suspension of full driving privileges. Offenders also face a mandatory 5 days in jail or 240 hours of community service. According to Todd Spodek, fellow attorney – as with first DUI convictions, offenders face up to a year in jail and a maximum $25,000 fine. Judges often impose harsher fines and are more likely to impose jail time for second-time offenders.

Third DUI Conviction

Third DUI convictions count as class-2 felonies. Offenders face a minimum ten-year loss of full driving privileges. Judges may revoke drivers licenses.

Judges also must sentence offenders to a minimum of 18-months periodic imprisonment and a maximum of 30 months. Periodic imprisonment provides an alternative to a traditional prison sentence. The program allows inmates to leave prison in order to work. Inmates in the program must report back to jail during their off hours. Inmates also pay program fees.

Judges also may opt for a traditional prison sentence of up to seven years.

Offenders also face a maximum fine of $25,000.

Aggravated DUI

In Illinois, DUI offenders commit aggravated DUI if they cause an accident resulting in major bodily injury or permanent disfigurement. Aggravated DUI convictions allow judges broader discretion in determining sentences. The circumstances surrounding the crash and the offender’s criminal record can greatly influence the sentence.

Aggravated DUI carries a mandatory 10-day prison sentence or 480 hours of community service. The judge must also suspend the offender’s full driving privileges for a minimum of one year.

Judges can sentence offenders to up to 12 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. They may also impose a maximum fine of $25,000.

Summary suspension

Illinois law provides for summary suspension of driving privileges. The state considers summary suspensions non-punitive measures used purely to keep roads safer. Summary suspensions are imposed by the Secretary of State rather than by the courts. Summary suspensions carry no criminal liability.

A summary suspension results when a chemical test shows the driver’s blood alcohol content is .08 or over. In this case, the Secretary of State must suspend the driver’s license for six months. This suspension works separately from any criminal charges filed against the driver.

If the driver refuses a chemical test, the Secretary of State automatically suspends his or her drivers license for twelve months.

For repeat offenders, a chemical test resulting in a BAC over .08 results in a mandatory one-year drivers license suspension. If a repeat offender refuses a chemical test, he or she faces a mandatory three-year summary suspension.

Offenders under the age of 21

Illinois’ law provides for the automatic suspension of driving privileges for people under 21 if they are caught driving while under the influence of any amount of alcohol. Drivers under the age of 21 also face the same summary suspension consequences as adults.

Underage drivers convicted of DUI also face strict consequences, including long-term license suspensions, fines, and possible jail or prison time.

First time underage DUI offenders lose their drivers licenses for a minimum of two years. They also face up to a year in jail and up to a $2,500 fine.

Second time underage DUI offenders lose their drivers licenses for a minimum of five years. They also face mandatory five-days imprisonment or 240 hours of community service and up to a year in jail and up to a $2,500 fine.

Third time underage DUI offenders receive a ten year suspension of full driving privileges, mandatory 18-30 months periodic imprisonment, up to seven years in prison, and up to $25,000 in fines.