Illinois residents expect to stay safe on the road. Unfortunately, some people drive under the influence and put others at risk.
When is a person considered intoxicated?
In Illinois, a driver can be considered legally intoxicated if their blood alcohol concentration or BAC is 0.08% or higher. However, for commercial drivers, the legal limit is 0.04%. Drivers who are under the age of 21 cannot have any level of alcohol content.
What are the penalties for DUI?
If a driver is found to be under the influence, they can be arrested on DUI charges. Penalties for a conviction can be harsh depending on the circumstances and whether there are prior convictions. A first offense results in a fine of up to $2,500 and spending one year in prison.
A second DUI conviction carries one year in prison and a fine of up to $2,500. If there’s a second conviction within five years of the first, there is a mandatory minimum prison sentence of five days or 240 hours of community service. The individual could also have their driver’s license suspended for five years. Their vehicle’s registration may also be suspended.
If there is a third or fourth conviction of DUI, it’s charged as a felony offense. The person can face three to seven years in prison and a maximum fine of $25,00.
When are additional penalties imposed?
There are higher penalties for a DUI conviction involving a BAC of 0.16% or higher. In addition to prison, a mandatory minimum fine of $500 is imposed and the individual is required to do a minimum mandatory 100 hours of community service. It’s also considered very serious when a child younger than 16 was in the vehicle at the time of the offense. A conviction results in a mandatory minimum fine of $1,000 and mandatory minimum 140 hours of community service.
Staying sober when you know you’ll be driving can prevent a DUI arrest and save lives.