Making the decision to drink and drive can have some pretty harsh consequences. Penalties for DUI in Chicago can include jail time, fines, community service, and mandatory completion of alcohol counseling programs. Getting a DUI can also result in the suspension of your Illinois driver’s license. The length of your suspension will depend on the circumstances of your DUI offense.
Per Se Intoxication or Refusing Chemical Testing
Your driver’s license will automatically be suspended for a minimum of 6 months if (a) your BAC exceeds the legal limit or (b) you refuse chemical testing. These suspensions are not criminal penalties. Rather, they are administrative suspensions triggered by the DMV.
It is important to contest an administrative suspension of your driving privileges immediately. Contact an experienced Chicago DUI attorney for help contesting the loss of your license before the DMV.
Per Se Intoxication
In Chicago, you can be arrested for DUI when chemical testing confirms that your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is above the legal limit. In Illinois, the legal limit for adults over the age of 21 is .08 percent. If you have a commercial driver’s license, your BAC cannot exceed .04 percent. Drivers under the age of 21 cannot have any trace of alcohol in their body, at all.
If your BAC is above the legal limit, you will automatically be considered to be intoxicated. This is known as “per se” intoxication. Per se intoxication will result in the automatic suspension of your driver’s license.
Refusing Chemical Testing
When you operate a vehicle on Illinois roads you automatically consent to comply with an officer’s request for chemical testing if they suspect you are intoxicated. Refusing to submit to chemical testing will result in the automatic suspension of your driving privileges for at least 12 months. If you refuse to submit to chemical testing on two or more separate occasions, your privileges will be suspended for three years.
License Suspension for DUI Conviction
First DUI Conviction
Your driving privileges will be suspended for a minimum of 1 year when you are convicted of driving under the influence in Illinois. This is true regardless of any administrative suspensions that may have been triggered by an elevated BAC or your refusal to take a breathalyzer.
Second DUI Conviction
If you are convicted of a second DUI, your driver’s license will be suspended for a minimum of 5 years.
Third DUI Conviction
Third and subsequent DUI convictions will result in an extended suspension of your driver’s license. In most cases, you will face the loss of your license for a minimum of 10 years.
Fourth DUI Conviction
Once you are convicted of a fourth DUI in Chicago your driving privileges will be revoked indefinitely. At this point, the state believes that you have demonstrated a pattern of dangerous behavior that warrants taking your license away for good.
License Suspensions for Drivers Under 21
Penalties for drinking and driving are considerably more serious when the DUI defendant is under the age of 21. The most notable difference in the penalties for DUI and Under 21 DUI is the length of time a driver’s license will be suspended for first and second convictions.
A first-time DUI conviction for drivers under the age of 21 is punishable by a 2-year suspension. If a driver under 21 is convicted of a second DUI, his or her license can be suspended for:
- 5 years, or
- Until the driver turns 21, whichever is longer.
Fight DUI Charges in Chicago
Have you been arrested on suspicion of drunk driving in Chicago? If you are charged and convicted, you can face harsh criminal penalties include jail time, fines, and the loss of your license. The loss of your license can adversely affect every aspect of your life. Without the ability to drive, it can be difficult to go to work, take care of your family, and do things you once took for granted.
The state has an obligation to prove that you are guilty of driving under the influence by a reasonable doubt. You can prevent them from building a strong case against you by hiring an experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney to represent you. Call the Kostopoulos Law Group today to request a free consultation.
Kostopoulos Law Group
125 S. Wacker Drive, Suite 300A
Chicago, IL 60606