Consequences of a DUI in Chicago


If you live in Illinois, you may want to think twice about getting behind the wheel after having a drink or two. The state does not take driving under the influence lightly and is home to some of the country’s most stringent DUI laws. DUIs in Illinois aren’t cheap, either. A person charged and convicted of DUI in Illinois is estimated to incur expenses in the ballpark of $16,850 resulting from bail, bond, fines, court-ordered treatment and assessments, attorney’s fees, and increased insurance premiums.[1]

Illinois BAC Limits

There are, generally speaking, three Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) levels for the purposes of the law.

.00% – .049%.

A person with a BAC between .00% and .049 percent is not presumed to be intoxicated. Operating a motor vehicle at this level is not punishable by law.

.05% – .079%.

A person with a BAC between .05% and .079% is not presumed to be intoxicated and cannot, without additional information, be charged with the violation of the state driving under the influence laws. However, police are granted discretion and may issue an arrest for driving under the influence if they believe, given the behavior of the accused, that they are intoxicated.

.08% +

A person with a BAC of .08% or greater is presumed to be intoxicated and will be arrested and charged with driving under the influence if found to be operating a motor vehicle.

What Happens After a DUI Arrest in Illinois?

The state of Illinois considers Driving Under the Influence to be a serious crime and imposes many penalties for those who are convicted. Here’s a breakdown of the potential issues a person charged with a DUI in Illinois may face.

Arrests for Driving Under the Influence

Arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol can result in one of three ways:

  1. Driving with a BAC between .05% and .79% and exhibiting behavior that leads the arresting officer to believe the person is intoxicated;
  2. Driving with a BAC equal to or greater than .08%; or
  3. Getting pulled over on the suspicious of DUI and refusing to submit to a breathalyzer or similar chemical testing.

It is also important to note that Illinois permits the use of medicinal marijuana. Registered users are issued a registry ID card and have notations on their driving records which can alert law enforcement. Operating a vehicle under the influence of marijuana – or any other controlled substance – is illegal in Illinois and punishable under state DUI laws.

Statutory Summary Suspension

Regardless of guilt, if you are arrested for driving under the influence you will be subject to immediate statutory summary suspension. Immediately upon arrest the officer will suspend your license. Upon release from jail you will be issued a receipt which will permit you to continue driving for 45 days while you fight the pending charges against you. After those 45 days expire your license will be suspended. The length of the suspension depends on the circumstances of your arrest:

  • Failing a chemical BAC test: 6-month suspension
  • Refusing to submit to a chemical BAC test: 1-year suspension.

If you have been arrested for a DUI and have had your license suspended, you must request an administrative hearing within 90 days of your DUI to fight the suspension. Failure to request an administrative hearing will result in suspension of your license. To protect your driving privileges, be sure to request the administrative hearing during the 45-day grace period between your arrest and suspension.

License Revocation

Illinois, through the power of the Secretary of State, may opt to seek revocation of your driver’s license based on information about your DUI charges they receive from the state’s attorney. Should the Secretary of State choose to revoke your license you will not be permitted to operate a vehicle until the charges against you have been litigated. Especially egregious (alleged) violations of the state DUI laws are likely to trigger license revocation.

If your license is revoked by the state, you will face hefty fees to reinstate your permit. License reinstatement fees cost $500 for first time offender, and an additional $50 for repeat offenders who must seek reinstatement through a formal hearing. Other applicable costs may include $30 for a new license, drug/alcohol treatment, and Ignition Interlock Device fees.

Criminal Penalties

Driving Under the Influence in Illinois is a criminal offense. Those convicted of the charge are subject to punishment, which can vary depending on the circumstances of the charge and criminal history. Punishments may include any or all of the following:

  • License Revocation (1 year for those over 21, 2 years for those under 21);
  • No more than 6 months in jail;
  • A fine of no more than $1,000;
  • Community Service;
  • Mandatory drug and alcohol treatment;
  • Revocation of Motor Vehicle Registration.

Driving After a DUI Conviction in Illinois

First Time Offenders

If you’ve been charged with a DUI in Illinois and wish to regain driving privileges you may apply for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (“MDPP”).[2] Applications for MDPPs are not automatically granted, nor are they available to all first-time offenders. In instances were MDPPs are granted, the applicant must:

  • Be 18 years and older and a first-time offender with no prior Illinois DUI convictions and no DUI convictions in another state in the past 5 years; and
  • Have an otherwise valid driver’s license.

If MDPP is granted, drivers will be required to install a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (“BAIID”) and pay for all related costs. BAIID expenses include $85 installation, $80 monthly rental fees, and $30 monthly monitoring fees. It costs approximately $100 to uninstall the BAIDD once the MDPP timeframe has expired.

Drivers with MDPPs may face serious consequences if they attempt to operate a vehicle with a BAIID installed with alcohol on their breath. Three violations may result in vehicle impoundment for 30 days, while four violations may result in government seizure of your vehicle. Additionally, suspensions and/or revocations of licenses may be extended. Note, if you have a BAIID installed in your car, anyone who chooses to operate it is required to test their BAC.

Repeat Offenders

Repeat offenders will not be granted MDPPs. However, if you have been convicted of more than one DUI you may apply for restricted driving license. Restricted driving licenses are issued in place of a forfeited driver’s license and impose strict limitations on driving privileges.

If you have 2-3 DUI convictions in Illinois, you may apply to forfeit your license for a restricted permit. You will be required to install and keep a BAIID in your vehicle for no less than 5 years. If you have 4 or more DUI convictions in Illinois, you will be required to forfeit your driver’s license for a minimum of 5 years. You may then submit an application to the Secretary of State for a restricted permit. If granted, you will be required to have a BAIID installed on your vehicle for life. Contact Kostopoulos Law Group today you need more information.

Kostopoulos Law Group
125 S. Wacker Drive, Suite 300 A
Chicago, IL 60606

[1] http://www.dmv.org/il-illinois/automotive-law/dui.php

[2] http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/BAIID/mddp.html

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