Illinois DUI Laws and Penalties

How Illinois defines driving under the influence (DUI) and the consequences of a conviction.

In Illinois, a person can be convicted of DUI for driving or being in “actual physical control” of a motor vehicle:

  • with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or more
  • while under the influence of alcohol
  • while under the influence of any intoxicating compound, drug, or a combination of alcohol, drugs, or intoxicating compounds to a degree that renders the person incapable of driving safely
  • with any amount of a controlled substance in the person’s blood, urine, or other bodily substance, or
  • with a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of five nanograms or more in the blood or ten nanograms or more in another bodily substance within two hours of driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle.

When a person is arrested for DUI, there are generally administrative (license-related) penalties imposed. If an offender is later convicted of DUI in court, criminal penalties will also be imposed.

Jail Time and Fines for Illinois DUI Convictions

The possible penalties imposed for DUI convictions usually depends on the following factors:

  • the defendant’s BAC
  • the defendant’s age
  • whether the defendant was transporting a passenger under 16 years of age, and
  • whether the defendant has prior DUI convictions.

The charts below detail the minimum and maximum jail sentences and fines for first, second, and third DUI convictions.

1st Offense

1st Offense (BAC .16% or more)

1st Offense (Passenger under 16 years old)

Jail Time

364 days (maximum)

364 days (maximum)

6 months

Fines

$2,500 (maximum)

$500 (minimum)

$1,000 (minimum)

2nd Offense

2nd Offense (BAC .16% or more)

2nd Offense (Passenger under 16 years old)

Jail Time

5 days (or 240 hours of community service) to 364 days

2 days (minimum)

10 days (or 480 hours of community service) to 7 years

Fines

$2,500 (maximum)

$1,250 (minimum)

$2,500 to $25,000

3rd Offense

3rd Offense (BAC .16% or more)

3rd Offense (Passenger under 16 years old)

Jail Time

10 days (or 480 hours of community service) to 7 years

90 days (minimum)

10 days (or 480 hours of community service) to 7 years

Fines

$25,000 (maximum)

$2,500 (minimum)

$25,000 (minimum)

License Suspensions for DUI Convictions in Illinois

All motorists who are convicted of DUI face a driver’s license suspension. The suspension periods for first, second, and third convictions are as follows:

1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd Offense

Suspension Period

1 year (2 years if under 21 years)

5 years

10 years

After a first conviction, the defendant can apply for a restrictive driving permit (RDP) to drive for work, school, medical appointments, drug/alcohol treatment, and in other limited circumstances. To get the permit, the defendant must demonstrate that a hardship exists and there’s no danger to public safety.

For restoration of full driving privileges after a second or subsequent DUI conviction, the defendant must first hold an RDP for five continuous years. Additionally, an ignition interlock device (IID) must be installed in the vehicle and used for five years.

Illinois’s Implied Consent Law and Refusing Chemical Testing

Illinois’s implied consent law requires all motorists to submit to chemical testing of breath, blood, urine, and/or another bodily substance if there’s probable cause to believe the person was driving under the influence. The Secretary of State will automatically suspend the license of any motorist who fails or refuses to take a chemical test.

This administrative suspension is referred to as a “statutory summary suspension” and is for the following periods:

1st Offense

2nd or Subsequent Offense (if a prior DUI conviction or statutory summary suspension within 5 years)

Suspension Period for Failed Test

6 months

1 year

Suspension Period for Test Refusal

1 year

3 years

In Illinois, drivers who are under 21 years of age are subject to a zero-tolerance license suspension for failing or refusing a chemical test. If an underage driver refuses a test or has a BAC of more than .00% and less than .08%, the suspension periods are:

1st offense

2nd or Subsequent Offense

Suspension Period for Failed Test

3 months

1 year

Suspension Period for Test Refusal

6 months

2 years

Other Penalties for DUI Convictions in Illinois

Alcohol/drug evaluation and treatment. All DUI offenders must complete an alcohol/drug evaluation. The defendant must undergo recommended treatment if the evaluation indicates a substance abuse problem. Generally, the defendant is responsible for the costs associated with the evaluation and treatment.

Victim impact panel (VIP). All offenders are usually required to attend a VIP and pay the fee for the panel. The VIP is a panel of speakers that focuses discussions on the consequences of DUI related crashes.

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