Illinois DUI Laws and Penalties 2023 – All You Need To Know

Driving under the influence (DUI) is one of the most common criminal offenses. Hundreds of people face DUI charges every year, many of whom did not intend to do anything wrong. Others face charges based on false information from faulty breathalyzers or flawed field sobriety tests.

As a driver in Illinois, it is important that you remain informed of the current DUI laws in the state. Contacting a Grayslake, IL, DUI Defense Attorney can help you understand your rights and options. Doing so may help you to avoid a wrongful arrest or help you to build your case.

Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)

Your BAC is one of the few things that can be used against you if you are arrested for a DUI.

Illinois considers a person to be under the influence of alcohol if their BAC is .08% or higher. A police officer will determine a driver’s BAC with a field breathalyzer. If the driver’s BAC is .05% or higher, but the police officer determines the driver to be unfit to drive, the officer can legally arrest the driver.

Illinois has a “zero tolerance” policy, meaning that drivers under the age of 21 cannot have any amount of alcohol, drugs, or controlled substances in their systems. If they do, they can be arrested on a DUI charge.

Consequences of a DUI

If the court finds you guilty of a DUI, you will face consequences that reflect the number of DUIs on your record, your BAC, and the amount of damage that you caused.

Potential consequences for a first DUI Offense include:

  • Up to 1 year of jail time, with a possibility of alternative options
  • Between $500 and $2,500 in fines
  • Community service
  • License suspension or revocation
  • Ignition interlock (IID)

Additional punishments are possible if your BAC was over .16 or if it was an aggravated DUI.

Potential consequences for a second DUI include:

  • Up to 1 year of jail time, with a possibility of alternative options
  • Between $1,250 and $2,500 in fines
  • Community service
  • License revocation or suspension
  • IID

Finally, the potential consequences of a third DUI are:

  • Between 90 days and seven years in jail, with a possibility of alternative options
  • Fines up to $2,500, or $25,000, if a minor under 16 was in the car
  • Community service
  • License revocation for a minimum of 10 years
  • IID (for restricted permit holders)

Hire a Illinois DUI Lawyer

These punishments will significantly impact your life. Even a first DUI offense can have a devastating effect on your future, and the consequences reach beyond the confines of the judicial system. Some DUI offenders have difficulty getting certain jobs, applying for appropriate housing, and retaining custody of their children.

With so much at stake, it is imperative that you make a significant effort to protect yourself. The most effective way to do so is to hire a qualified DUI defense attorney. Though the situation may seem bleak to you, an attorney can craft a case in your defense that may show you otherwise.

There are several defense strategies that we can use in your favor. Potential options may include:

  • Faulty breathalyzer
  • Illegal traffic stop.
  • Faulty arrest
  • Rising BAC: you would have arrived at your destination before your BAC reached an illegal limit if the police officer had not pulled you over.
  • Coercion or entrapment
  • True necessity: the situation that you were in was more dangerous than driving while under the influence, and you had no other option.

Other potential arguments may be appropriate in your situation. Our highly trained DUI defense attorneys will tailor your defense to your unique circumstances for a more reliable strategy.

FAQs About Illinois DUI Laws and Penalties

What Is the Penalty for a First DUI in Illinois?

First-time DUI offenses can result in jail time, fines, license suspension, and more. The judge will tailor your consequences to the severity of your offense. In situations where you hurt or killed someone while driving under the influence, you will likely face felony charges and additional punishments. Similarly, if your BAC was over twice the legal limit, you will likely face additional community service and a longer license suspension.

What Is Aggravated DUI in Illinois?

An aggravated DUI is a DUI that results in a felony charge. Some circumstances that can create a felony charge include the following:

  • Third DUI
  • Operating a school bus with minor passengers
  • Causing great physical harm or killing someone

If you are found guilty of a felony DUI, you face time in state prison rather than county jail. You also face a much longer sentence than you would have for a misdemeanor DUI.

How Much Does a DUI Lawyer Cost in Illinois?

The cost of your lawyer’s services will depend on the lawyer’s experience as well as the circumstances of your case. Many attorneys charge between $700 and $1,500 for a plea deal and between $1,500 and $4,000 to go to trial. However, other attorneys charge hourly for their services instead of a flat rate. Always discuss rates with potential attorneys to determine the most favorable option for your budget.

Can I Ask for a Public Defender for a DUI?

As DUIs are criminal rather than civil offenses, you may ask for a public defender to represent you if you cannot afford private defense representation. However, public defenders always have a significant caseload. Many do not have the time or resources to focus on a DUI defense, which requires creativity and skill. You will likely get better outcomes when working with a private defense attorney.

Contact Jerald Novak After IL DUI

Our team has many years of direct experience in Illinois DUI defense cases of all kinds. We understand the challenges in these claims, as well as the fear that many of our clients have about the future. When you work with us, you can rest easy knowing that you have complete information about your case, as well as an attorney who cares about your side of the story.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, please contact our offices today.

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Jerald Novak Law Firm, provides a Free initial consultation at our DUI & Criminal Defense firm. Call (847) 223-2285 to learn how our DUI & Criminal Defense attorney Jerald Novak, can help you! Call now!