ILLINOIS HAS SOME OF THE TOUGHEST DUI LAWS IN THE COUNTRY
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Illinois prohibits driving with a .08 percent BAC or above. When you drink and drive in Illinois, you risk your freedom, finances and your future.
A DUI HAS TWO SEPARATE AND DISTINCT COMPONENTS:
1. Criminal - Guilt or Innocence of DUI offense
Guilt (or innocence) in any case is determined by a judge, jury or by negotiation of the parties (with court approval). Penalties for DUI in Illinois vary depending on the circumstances of the arrest and conviction. These circumstances may include the driver’s age, the driver’s BAC level, whether the driver was transporting a child under age 16, and whether the driver has previous DUI convictions.
If you are under 21 years of age in Illinois there is a "Zero" tolerance for alcohol and driving. If you are convicted for DUI, the first offense will result in a minimum 1-year suspension of your driver's license. In addition, you may be imprisoned for up to one year and fined up to $2,500.
2. Civil - Statutory Summary Suspension
Every person charged with DUI on a public highway is subject to a statutory summary suspension. The implied consent law in Illinois requires that any person that drives in the State of Illinois agrees to submit to a chemical test of their Urine, Blood or Breath. Refusal to submit to a chemical test (or blowing over .08) may result in a summary suspension from 6 months to 3 years, depending on the circumstances. If a commercial driver’s license holder receives a statutory summary suspension, his/her CDL privileges will be disqualified for one year for a first offense; a lifetime disqualification applies for a second offense. PLEASE NOTE: Summary Suspensions are automatic and go into effect 46 days from the date of the stop. DO NOT DRIVE TO COURT AFTER YOUR SUSPENSION HAS GONE INTO EFFECT! DOING SO WILL RESULT IN ADDITIONAL CRIMINAL PENALTIES INCLUDING POSSIBLE JAIL. Drivers may request a timely hearing to contest the suspension. Therefore, it is important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible and request a hearing BEFORE the suspension goes into effect. In most cases, driving relief may be available during the suspension period through the use of BAIID (contact us for more information).
Effective July 1, 2011: If a driver refuses to submit to chemical testing after being involved in a crash in which a serious injury or death occurred, his/her driving privileges will be revoked for a minimum of 1 year.