Illinois DUI DWI Penalties
In Illinois, DUI is the name given to the crime of drinking and driving although it is also sometimes referred to as DWI. Under Illinois DUI laws, drinking and driving is usually considered a misdemeanor. However, certain conditions can raise the crime to the level of a felony.
Illinois DUI penalties range from jail time and fines to the loss of driving privileges. If you have been arrested for DUI, you will want to contact an Illinois DUI lawyer. An attorney can help you understand what legal defenses are available to you and help argue your case in court.
First Illinois DUI Offense
A first-time Illinois DUI offender will be charged with a misdemeanor as long as the DUI did not cause bodily harm to a passenger under the age of 16, did not happen when the driver's license was revoked or suspended, and did not cause great bodily harm to another person.
Classified as a class A misdemeanor in Illinois, a first DUI offense is punishable by:
- Court supervision for up to two years
- Fines of up to $2,500
- Jail up to one year
- Suspension of license for a minimum of a year
If the Illinois driver's blood-alcohol content was.16 or above, then penalties may increase. Specifically, the driver may face:
- A mandatory minimum fine of $500
- Mandatory 100 hours of community service
If a child under the age of 16 was in the vehicle at the time the Illinois DUI occurred, the driver may face the following additional penalties:
- Either six months in jail or 25 days of community service in a program for children
- Mandatory fine of at least $1,000
Additionally, if the child is harmed in the process of the DUI, the crime is raised to a class 4 felony, which is punishable by:
- A fine of $2,500 to $25,000
- Either 10 days in jail minimum or 480 hours community service in addition to the 25 days of community service with a program benefiting children
Second Illinois DUI Offense
A second Illinois DUI conviction is also considered a class A misdemeanor. However, the penalties are typically harsher.
Those convicted for DUI for a second time in Illinois face:
- A mandatory jail time of five days or 240 hours of community service
- Jail time up to one year maximum
- Fines up to $2,500
- License suspension minimum of five years
Additionally, the penalties for driving with a blood-alcohol level of .16 or above and for committing DUI with a child under the age of 16 in the car are also increased.
For those with a blood-alcohol level of .16 or greater, the minimum mandatory jail time is seven days and there is a mandatory minimum fine of $1,250.
For those driving with a minor in the car, a second offense is considered felony aggravated DUI in Illinois, which is a class 2 felony. It is punishable by up to three years in jail, a fine of up to $25,000, and a minimum of 25 days of community service.
Third Illinois DUI Offense
A third Illinois DUI offense is considered a class 2 felony. Those convicted of this crime face stiff penalties, including:
- Three to seven years in prison and a mandatory minimum of 10 days in jail or 480 hours of community service
- Fines up to $25,000
- License suspension of at least 10 years
- Probation for 48 months
For those with a blood-alcohol level of .16 or above, there is a mandatory 90-day jail sentence and a minimum fine of $2,500.
For those driving with a child under the age of 16, there is a mandatory minimum fine of $25,000 and mandatory 25 days of community service.
Great Bodily Harm or Death
If you cause someone great bodily harm or commit vehicular homicide while drinking and driving in Illinois, you may be convicted of a very serious crime.
According to Illinois DUI laws, those who cause great bodily harm during their first DUI offense-which is classified as a class 4 felony-face the following penalties:
- One to 12 years in prison or probation for up to 30 months
- A mandatory minimum of 10 days in jail or 480 hours of community service
- A minimum fine of $2,5000
If the third DUI offense causes great bodily harm, the driver may face a class 2 felony charge. This can entail one to 12 years in prison or 480 hours of community service.
If the DUI results in another person's death, the crime is considered a class 2 felony. The minimum sentence is probation, but those convicted could face up to 14 years in prison for one death and 28 years for multiple deaths.