Driving Under the Influence Defined

Few actually understand the repercussions of drinking and driving, but most of us know someone who has been arrested for it. The drinking and driving limit is 0.08, which is the highest level of alcohol concentration allowed in a person’s blood or breath to operate vehicle lawfully. You can even be charged with drinking and driving with less than a 0.08 concentration of alcohol in the event that you are under the influence of alcohol at all and it is impacting your ability to operate a motor vehicle. This law also pertains to driving under the influence of any drug, including cannabis, or any combination of alcohol and drugs.

First Offender DUI

Driving under the influence is a criminal offense in Illinois. The punishment for this offense will increase if you were driving with minors in your vehicle, if your blood alcohol concentrate was above .16, if you caused an accident involving others, or if you were driving in a school zone. The first offense is generally a Class A misdemeanor, but under very rare circumstances, a first offense can be a felony. The punishment will consist of being places on Court Supervision for at least one year and a minimum of 100 hours of community service, though other fines and penalties may be issued, as well, such as automatic license suspension. The maximum punishment for a first-time offender is one year in jail and up to $2,500 in court fines. Court supervision is only an option for first-time offenders, which will keep your record from showing the DUI conviction, and only allowed if the driver has no previous history of reckless driving.

Second Offender DUI

The punishment for a second-time DUI is a mandatory minimum sentencing of five days in the county jail, or performance of 240 hours of community service. It is not possible to waive these mandatory minimum requirements, and the judge is required to impose these minimums on every case, regardless of any extenuating circumstances including disability, dependents, employment, education, or other commitments. As for the financial impact, the court is required to sentence the defendant to pay a DUI technology fee of $1,000. For a first DUI, the fee is $500. The defendant is also sentenced to pay a $50 Roadside Memorial Fund Fee.

If I’m not guilty, will my license still be suspended?

The Secretary of State may also suspend your license, even if you are found not guilty. The duration of the suspension will depend on whether the defendant failed a chemical test and whether the defendant is considered to be a first offender (no prior DUIs or summary suspensions within the last five years).

If you have any questions or concerns regarding a DUI conviction, contact us as soon as possible so we can start on your case right away. Our criminal defense attorneys at Giannola Traffic Lawyers have years of experience and will provide you with the best defense available. 

For more information, follow this link to the Illinois DUI Statute:  Learn More