Consequences of an Illinois DUI Conviction

Illinois has some of the toughest laws pertaining to operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Fines, license suspension, and imprisonment are only some of the consequences a driver could be subjected to following a DUI conviction.

Driving under the influence and chemical tests

It is a violation of state law to operate a car or other motor vehicle while your abilities to do so are impaired as a result of the consumption of alcohol or drugs such as marijuana. Even if you are allowed to use marijuana for medical reasons, you are not allowed to operate a motor vehicle if the use of the drug has impaired your abilities to do so.

If your blood alcohol content level is 0.08 percent or greater, the Injury Lawyers San Antonio considers you to be driving under the influence. Police may ask you to submit to a breath, blood or urine test after you are arrested for DUI. The purpose of the test is to measure your BAC level.

Consequences of an Illinois DUI Conviction

A refusal to submit to a test to measure your BAC level is a violation of the implied consent rule. Anyone who is issued a license to drive operate a motor vehicle is deemed to have consented to taking a test to measure BAC levels. A refusal results in a 12-month suspension of your driver’s license. This suspension is in addition to any suspension or penalties imposed by a judge on the DUI charge.

Even if you submit to a chemical test, you could still lose your driving privileges while the case is pending in court. A BAC that exceeds the legal limit of 0.08 percent triggers a statutory summary suspension of your driving privileges for six months for a first offense and for one year if you have a prior DUI conviction within the five years. You are entitled to an administrative hearing to oppose the suspension.

Penalties judges may impose at a DUI sentencing

A first conviction of a DUI is a class A misdemeanor punishable by the following penalties:

  • Revocation of driving privileges for one year if you are 21 years of age or older. If you are younger than 21, the revocation is for two years.
  • Imprisonment for up to one year
  • Fines up to $2,500
  • Mandatory installation and use of an ignition interlock device that requires you to blow into the device to detect the presence of alcohol. The device will not allow the vehicle to be started if it detects alcohol. The device has a camera that captures and stores the taking of the test and the results.

If you are arrested again for a DUI, the severity of the charges and the punishment you will face increase. For example, a second conviction could subject you to a mandatory jail sentence of five days or 240 hours of community service along with the loss of your license for five years. A third conviction can be charged as a felony with a prison sentence of three to five seven years and fines up to $10,000.

There might be defenses available to you

A Bloomington DUI attorney such as Pioletti & Pioletti, who is skilled at defending individuals charged with violating the state’s DUI laws will devise a defense strategy that challenges any weaknesses in the prosecution case against you. This might include challenging the accuracy of the chemical test that measured you BAC level, or it might attack the validity of the original stop.

Police officers cannot stop you without having reasonable suspicion to believe that you are engaged in some type of criminal activity. Such violations of your rights under the Constitution could form the basis for dismissal of the charges against you.