DUI Illinois Laws & Penalties

In the state of Illinois, driving under the influence, or DUI, convictions carry some of the most severe penalties in the US. A person will be subject to high fines, loss of driving privileges, and could even serve up to a year in jail for a first-time offense. In this guide, we’ll discuss the most current DUI laws, Illinois’ Zero Tolerance Policy for minors, how a lawyer can help you navigate the legal process after a DUI conviction, and more.

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A DUI is the last thing you want to deal with. One too many can lead to serious consequences for your freedom, job prospects, and general state of mind. Andrew Nickel is a former Illinois prosecutor and DUI lawyer with the experience and skills to help make your DUI problems go away.

Illinois DUI Laws

Drinking and Driving Laws in Illinois


Illinois has very stringent DUI laws as well as an Implied Consent Law, meaning you agree to abide by the law as a condition of being licensed to drive. In layman’s terms, the Implied Consent Law means that anyone who is in physical control of a vehicle in Illinois has implicitly agreed to provide a breath, blood, or urine sample to a police officer who has arrested them with probable cause in order to test for alcohol, drugs, or other compounds in violation of Illinois DUI law.

Like all states, Illinois DUI laws do not allow people who have a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08 or higher to operate a motor vehicle. The legal BAC level is different for commercial drivers (0.04) and minors (0.00). There is an exception to the minors’ 0.00 BAC level if they are coming back from a religious ceremony or they are on a prescription medication containing alcohol. Even in those cases, minors must follow the national legal limit of 0.08 and may find themselves subject to Illinois’ Zero Tolerance Policy, which we’ll talk about later.

 

Medical Marijuana and Illegal Drugs

Illinois allows the use of medical marijuana, or cannabis, if a person is registered with the Illinois Department of Public Health and has medical authorization from a licensed physician. The individual will then be provided with a registry card, and a notation will be made on their license.

Just like with alcohol, a person may not operate a vehicle under the influence of marijuana or any illegal substance. Also, they may not transport medical cannabis unless it is in a sealed container that is not accessible while driving (i.e. on the backseat). If the driver of a vehicle is suspected to be impaired, even if they have a valid medical marijuana card, they will be subject to a field sobriety test. Refusal or failure of the test will result in the automatic suspension of the individual’s license and, if applicable, medical cannabis card.

Effective July 29, 2016

Any person with a THC level of 5 nanograms or more per milliliter of whole blood or 10 nanograms or more per milliliter of other bodily substances may be charged with DUI.

How to Get Out of a DUI Illinois

Options and Strategies to Get Out of a DUI in Illinois


Choosing the right lawyer for a DUI in Illinois can be difficult, especially since time probably isn’t on your side. You likely won’t have the opportunity to interview a pool of attorneys, carefully weigh your pros and cons, and make an informed decision after weeks of consideration. So, you should ask family and friends for recommendations or do some research online.

Look for an Illinois DUI attorney who is well-recommended and has experience with handling DUIs. Andrew Nickel was formerly in charge of the Kendall County DUI division.

When you meet with an Illinois DUI attorney to discuss options and strategies, they will first ask you details about your arrest. The lawyer will want to have the whole picture when it comes to what happened and what evidence the arresting officer has against you. Then, they will discuss your two plea options: guilty or not guilty, and you will go to trial. (In the state of Illinois, plea bargains are not accepted under DUI statutes).

Remember to ask how the attorney will handle your case. You may be surprised at the number of criminal defense options available to you. In fact, there are many loopholes and strategies that can be used to get out of a DUI in Illinois and avoid conviction. Here are a few examples:

  1. A field sobriety test that is not standard (i.e. touching your finger to your nose or saying the alphabet backwards) is invalid in court.
  2. There was a lack of probable cause to arrest.
  3. The arresting officer failed to provide dispatch tapes.
  4. The individual had not driven on a public highway, so they cannot be subject to drunk driving penalties.

Additionally, you should ask the attorney about their rates and choose someone who is patient and whom you trust since you’ll likely be working with them for months. The most important thing is to feel comfortable with and trust your attorney. Andrew Nickel is a DUI Lawyer Yorkville, but regardless of where you live in Illinois, you will be able to find a competent, experienced attorney who can help you out.

DUI Illinois First Offense

There are a range of penalties for a first offense DUI in Illinois. A judge in Illinois may use a variety of sentencing mechanisms for a DUI Illinois first offense depending on the circumstances of your case.  

Administrative Penalties


An Illinois first offense results in an administrative license suspension of six months. There are certain cases (such as if great bodily harm was caused) where even a first Illinois DUI may result in a longer license suspension.

Criminal Penalties


The penalties for a first-time offense are up to a year of jail time, up to $2,500 in fines, and a minimum of one-year license suspension. Your first DUI in Illinois is considered a Class A misdemeanor, unless bodily harm was caused in which case it may be classified as a felony in Illinois.

It’s important to note that these penalties are the maximum for a DUI Illinois first offense. You may find yourself eligible to receive a lighter punishment based on the circumstances of your crime. Every case and court is different. A big part of a successful outcome for a DUI Illinois is retaining an experienced DUI attorney who has years of practice in these cases.

DUI Illinois Second Offense

Illinois DUI law is quite strict when it comes to repeat DUI offenses. Depending on the circumstances of your second DUI offense, you may be subject to fines, jail time, and a lengthy suspension of your driving privileges.

“Look Back” Period


Illinois does not have a “look back” period. This means that, no matter when you were first convicted of a DUI, your second offense will be considered as such (even if decades have passed since your first offense). This holds true for as long as you drive in the State of Illinois. Your first Illinois DUI never “falls off” of your record as it may in others states after a certain number of years.

Second DUI Conviction


An Illinois second offense carries the same penalties as a first (up to a year of jail time, up to $2,500 in fines), but your license will be suspended for at least five years. Like a first DUI, your second DUI offense in Illinois is considered a Class A misdemeanor unless bodily harm was caused.

In order to avoid the maximum penalties listed here, retain an experienced Illinois DUI lawyer who will review the specifics of your case and find any issues that may work in your favor.  

Administrative Penalties

With a second offense, your license will be suspended. However, you may request a hearing to overturn your administrative penalties within forty-six days of your DUI arrest. If your driving privileges are revoked, you can apply for a restricted driving permit, which could only be granted if you didn’t refuse a chemical test.

If your license has been suspended, learn more about the road to reinstatement below:

**Road to Reinstatement PDF from Secretary of State’s office

DUI Illinois Third Offense

As with a second offense, a third DUI offense in Illinois is treated very seriously. Again, no “look back” period exists, so your previous DUIs remain on your record and will be taken into consideration for as long as you drive in Illinois.  A third DUI offense is considered aggravated DUI in Illinois.

Third DUI – Class II Felony

For a third DUI in Illinois, you may spend three to seven years in jail, pay up to $25,000 in fines, and have your license suspended for a minimum of ten years. Your third DUI in Illinois is automatically considered a Class II felony, as opposed to the first and second DUI offenses which are misdemeanors. The classification as a felony means that if convicted, there is mandatory jail time.

It is important to note that additional factors besides the number of Illinois DUI offenses can affect the penalties you experience. Examples of these factors include having an extremely high BAC (over 0.16) or having a minor was in the car during the DUI. Consult with an attorney if any of these additional circumstances apply to you.


The Law and Local Procedures

DUI laws and local procedures in Illinois vary by county. The penalties of a third DUI in Chicago, for example, may be different than in other parts of the state such Kendall County and Kane County. Most jurisdictions in Illinois require over $30,000 in bail to release third-time offenders.

Aggravated DUI Illinois

What is an Aggravated DUI in Illinois?

 

A DUI can become an Aggravated DUI in Illinois when one or more of the following factors are presented:

You were driving without a valid license or insurance.
Your actions cause bodily harm to a minor under sixteen.
If a person is injured while you’re driving through a school zone.
If you’re driving a school bus with at least one passenger under eighteen.

If you have three or more Illinois DUIs, any additional DUI offense will be considered an aggravated DUI.

The penalties of an Aggravated DUI are also more severe. For example, the maximum fine for an aggravated DUI in Illinois is $25,000.

Any mandatory term of imprisonment or community service is not subject to reduction for an aggravated DUI in Illinois. Your Illinois DUI lawyer can examine the details of your case and help you understand what penalties you may face.

New Illinois DUI Law (Effective Aug. 22, 2017)

Illinois updated its DUI laws in January 2018, and now more severe penalties can be imposed if the driver’s privileges have been revoked due to an aggravated DUI that caused death. Additionally, a person may be prosecuted at any time for an Aggravated DUI, according to a new DUI law.

“Enhanced penalties apply upon conviction for driving while revoked if the driver is revoked for aggravated DUI that resulted in death. The prosecution may be commenced at any time.” 

If you have questions about whether the new Illinois DUI laws apply to you, consult with an experienced DUI attorney.

625 ILCS 5/11-501

625 ILCS 5/11-501 of the Illinois Criminal Code

 

The 625 ILCS 5/11-501 Statute determines what factors make up a DUI. It states that it’s against the law to drive when:

Your BAC is over 0.08.
You’re under the influence of illegal or prescription drugs that make it difficult to drive.
You’re under the influence of medical marijuana.

 

Illinois Zero Tolerance Law

Zero Tolerance Law

Illinois imposes strict laws when it comes to minors and DUI laws. In fact, the Illinois Zero Tolerance Law makes it a criminal offense for anyone under twenty-one to have a BAC of over 0.00, except in special circumstances. The first offense for a person under twenty-one carries a minimum license suspension of two years.


Zero Tolerance While Driving Penalties

If a BAC of more than 0.00 is detected in someone under 21, there will be a three-month license suspension for a first DUI offense in Illinois, according to Zero Tolerance While Driving Penalties. A second offense will result in a one-year suspension of driving privileges.


Zero Tolerance While Driving Test Refusal

If you are under 21 years old and refuse to submit to a BAC test on your first Illinois DUI violation, your license will be suspended for six months due to Zero Tolerance While Driving Test Refusal. For your second offense, driving privileges will be suspended for two years. Keep in mind that you may not drive until all reinstatement fees have been paid.

Knowing the DUI laws in Illinois can protect you against costly legal fees and jail time. The best way to avoid a DUI is, if you do not feel you can safely drive home, call a taxi or have someone pick you up. This can prevent you from being on the wrong side of the law. The best thing to do if you’ve been arrested for a DUI in Illinois under the Zero Tolerance Law is to consult with an Illinois DUI attorney.

Illinois DUI Laws: FAQ

What Is The Zero Tolerance Law?

  • The Zero Tolerance Law deals with people under 21 who are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Illinois. An Illinois DUI for someone under 21 years old results in, at minimum, an automatic 3 month suspension of driving privileges.


What Is A DUI Charge?

  • A DUI charge is a felony or misdemeanor charge for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.


A First DUI Penalty Is Punishable By A Fine Up To?

  • $2,500


How Many DUIs Is A Felony?

  • Your third DUI offense in Illinois is automatically considered a Class II felony. However, first or second DUI offenses may be felonies if certain criteria apply (for instance if significant bodily harm was caused).


Is DUI A Crime?

  • Yes, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (with a blood alcohol content of more than 0.08) is considered a crime in Illinois.


Is A DUI A Felony In Illinois?

  • A third DUI offense in Illinois is a Class II felony; subsequent DUIs are also felonies. A first or second Illinois DUI can be a felony if someone is injured, if it occurs while transporting minors, and in other special circumstances.


What Is Aggravated DUI in Illinois?

  • A DUI can become an aggravated DUI in Illinois when one or more of the following factors are presented
    You were driving without a valid license or insurance.
    Your actions cause bodily harm to a minor under sixteen.
    If a person is injured while you’re driving through a school zone.
    If you’re driving a school bus with at least one passenger under eighteen.

If you have three or more Illinois DUIs, any additional DUI offense will be considered an aggravated DUI.


If You Are Convicted Of A DUI in Illinois You Could Lose Your…

  • You can have your license suspended as a result of a DUI in Illinois. License suspension can occur after the first or subsequent offenses.  


For the First Conviction of DUI What Is the Penalty?

  • For a first DUI conviction in Illinois, the penalties are up to a year of jail time, up to $2,500 in fines, and a minimum of one-year license suspension.


For the Third Conviction of DUI What Is the Penalty?

  • For a third DUI in Illinois, you may spend three to seven years in jail, pay up to $25,000 in fines, and have your license suspended for a minimum of ten years.


What Is an Aggravated DUI?

A DUI can become an aggravated DUI in Illinois when one or more of the following factors are presented:

You were driving without a valid license or insurance.
Your actions cause bodily harm to a minor under sixteen.
If a person is injured while you’re driving through a school zone.
If you’re driving a school bus with at least one passenger under eighteen.

If you have three or more Illinois DUIs, any additional DUI offense will be considered an aggravated DUI.

Can a Person Be Intoxicated With a BAC Below .08?

  • Yes, alcohol affects every person differently so someone might be intoxicated if they have had any alcohol, even if their BAC is below 0.08.


How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Illinois?

  • Illinois has no “look back” period, so a DUI stays on your record permanently.


How Many DUIs Until License Is Revoked?

  • In Illinois, your license can be temporarily revoked on your first DUI.


The Maximum Fine for Drinking and Driving in Illinois?

  • For a misdemeanor drinking and driving offense (most first and second DUI offenses), the maximum fine is $2,500.
  • For a third or subsequent offense, or for aggravated DUI offenses, the maximum fine is $25,000.

For a Conviction of a DUI in Illinois, You Could Pay…

  • For a misdemeanor drinking and driving offense (most first and second DUI offenses), the maximum fine is $2,500. For a third or subsequent offense, or for aggravated DUI offenses, the maximum fine is $25,000.

History of Illinois DUI

Illinois DUI Law Effective Jan. 1, 1958

  • Established .15 as the illegal BAC limit.

DUI Illinois Laws Effective Jan. 1, 1967

  • Lowered the illegal BAC limit from .15 to .10.

Illinois DUI Law Effective Jan. 1, 1980

  • Established 21 as the minimum drinking age.

Illinois DUI Law Effective Jan. 1, 1984

  • Established mandatory imprisonment of 48 hours or 10 days of community service for a second or subsequent DUI conviction.
  • Expanded the Crime Victims Compensation Act to include DUI victims.
  • Required courts to notify the Secretary of State’s office of DUI case dispositions, court supervisions, and other serious offenses.

DUI Illinois Laws Effective Jan. 1, 1986

  • Established the Statutory Summary Suspension Program to allow for the automatic suspension of a person’s driving privileges for refusing to submit to or failing chemical testing following a DUI arrest.
  • Expanded the Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights to include DUI victims.
  • Provided that any person who refuses to submit to chemical testing while operating a vehicle in another state will have his/her driving privileges suspended.

Illinois DUI Law Effective Sept. 12, 1986

  • Provided that any driver under age 21 convicted of a second DUI will have his/her driving privileges revoked until he/she turns 21 or for one additional year, whichever is longer.

Illinois DUI Law Effective Jan. 1, 1988

  • Provided that any driver under age 21 convicted of a second DUI will have his/her driving privileges revoked for a minimum of 3 years. If convicted of a third or subsequent DUI, a driver will have his/her driving privileges revoked for a minimum of 6 years.

Illinois DUI Law Effective Sept. 21, 1989

  • Provided that any driver who refuses to submit to chemical testing for a second or subsequent time will have his/her driving privileges suspended for a minimum of 2 years. Offenders may not apply for a Restricted Driving Permit for the first 6 months of the suspension period.

Illinois DUI Law Effective Jan. 1, 1991

  • Provided that any driver found at fault in a vehicle crash where serious personal injury or death occurs and who refuses to submit to or fails chemical testing (.10 BAC or more) will have his/her driving privileges suspended.

DUI Illinois Law Effective July 1, 1991

  • Provided that any driver who violates the Cannabis Control Act or the Illinois Controlled Substances Act while operating a motor vehicle will have his/her driver’s license canceled.


Illinois DUI Law Effective Nov. 3, 1992

  • Established the Crime Victims’ Rights Constitutional Amendment, which guarantees and protects the rights of crime victims, including those victimized by DUI.

Illinois DUI Law Effective Jan. 1, 1993

  • Prohibited any driver convicted of DUI within the last 10 years (rather than 5 years) from receiving court supervision.
  • Established the Child Endangerment Law, which states that any driver convicted of DUI while transporting a person ages 16 or younger is subject to a minimum fine and mandatory community service in a program benefiting children.

Illinois DUI Law Effective Jan. 1, 1994

  • Provided that any driver under age 21 convicted of illegal transportation of alcohol will have his/her driving privileges suspended for 1 year. For a second or subsequent conviction, a driver will have his/her driving privileges revoked.

Illinois DUI Law Effective Jan. 1, 1995

  • Established the Zero Tolerance Law, which states that any driver under age 21 caught with any trace of alcohol in his/her system will lose his/her driving privileges.

Illinois DUI Law Effective July 21, 1995

  • Prohibited a driver from receiving an RDP if he/she received a statutory summary suspension for a subsequent alcohol offense within 5 years for refusing to submit to chemical testing.

DUI Illinois Law Effective Jan. 1, 1997

  • Established a lifetime limit of one court supervision for a DUI offense.
  • Provided that results of a driver’s blood or urine tests, performed for the purpose of determining the content of alcohol, other drugs or both, conducted during medical treatment in a hospital emergency room, may be reported to the Illinois State Police or local law enforcement agencies.

Illinois DUI Law Effective July 2, 1997

  • Lowered the illegal BAC limit from .10 to .08.

Illinois DUI Law Effective Dec. 1, 1997

  • Increased the driver’s license revocation period to 5 years for a driver convicted of a second DUI. Increased the revocation period to 10 years for a third or subsequent conviction within 20 years.
  • Increased the driver’s license revocation period to 2 years for a driver convicted of reckless homicide (DUI).

Illinois DUI Law Effective Jan. 1, 1998

  • Established a zero tolerance law for school bus drivers. A school bus driver caught driving a school bus with any trace of alcohol in his/her system will lose his/her school bus driver permit.
  • Increased the maximum fines for criminal penalties and the penalty for a petty offense to $1,000, a misdemeanor up to $2,500 and a felony up to $25,000.

DUI Illinois Law Effective Jan. 1, 1999

  • Prohibited a driver with a fourth DUI conviction on his/her record from applying for a driver’s license.
  • Increased criminal penalties for a person driving on a suspended or revoked driver’s license and who is convicted of DUI during the suspension or revocation period. The offender’s vehicle is subject to seizure by local law enforcement.
  • Increased the statutory summary suspension period to 3 years (from 2 years) for a repeat DUI offender who refuses to submit to or fails to complete chemical testing.
  • Established a $250 statutory summary suspension and revocation fee for a driver charged with a second or subsequent DUI offense.
  • Increased the period of time in which the vehicle of a suspected DUI offender may be impounded to a graduated scale depending on the number of times the offender has been previously arrested for DUI.
  • Prohibited a driver charged with driving on a suspended or revoked driver’s license for a previous DUI from receiving court supervision if he/she has been convicted of or received court supervision for driving on a suspended or revoked driver’s license within the last 10 years.
  • Included the term “intoxicating compounds,” such as sniffing paint and glue, in Illinois DUI law.
  • Required hospital emergency rooms to report chemical test results of a person treated in a vehicle crash to Illinois State Police or law enforcement officials upon request.

Illinois DUI Law Effective Jan. 1, 2000

  • Mandated the Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) for certain drivers convicted of DUI.
  • Prohibited a driver with an out-of-state DUI or a reckless driving conviction from receiving court supervision for the same offense in Illinois.

Illinois DUI Law Effective Oct. 1, 2000

  • Required all court supervisions, regardless of offense, to be reported to the Secretary of State’s office.

Illinois DUI Law Effective July 27, 2001

  • Prohibited a sentence of probation for a driver convicted of a fourth or subsequent DUI while his/her driver’s license is suspended or revoked for a prior DUI conviction, or for a conviction for a crash involving death or personal injury.

Illinois DUI Law Effective Aug. 3, 2001

  • Prohibited the Secretary of State’s office from issuing an RDP for 1 year to a driver with a second or subsequent revocation of his/her driving privileges for DUI.
  • Increased penalties for a second DUI violation committed within 5 years, including 48 consecutive hours to 5 days imprisonment and 100 hours to 30 days of community service.

Illinois DUI Law Effective Aug. 10, 2001

  • Established mandatory minimum jail time and community service for anyone convicted of driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license as a result of a conviction for DUI, reckless homicide, leaving the scene of an accident or a statutory summary suspension.
  • Authorized judicial authorities to seize or immobilize the vehicle of a driver convicted for a fourth DUI violation.

Illinois DUI Law Effective Aug. 17, 2001

  • Extended the prison sentence for a felony DUI conviction.
  • Created and defined the category of Driving Under the Extreme Influence as a driver with a BAC of .16 or more. A driver convicted of this offense is subject to enhanced penalties with mandatory minimum sentencing requirements.
  • Enhanced penalties for a driver convicted of DUI with a child under age 16 in the vehicle, including mandatory minimum imprisonment and community service.
  • Required a driver with two or more alcohol incidents on his/her driving record to have a BAIID installed on his/her vehicle. A monthly fee, paid by the driver, is established for the maintenance of the BAIID.

DUI Illinois Law Effective Jan. 1, 2002

  • Required a person convicted of DUI to pay an additional $100 fine, which is deposited into the Trauma Center Fund for distribution to Illinois hospitals and trauma centers.
  • Prohibited a person sentenced to prison for a conviction of reckless homicide from having his/her driving privileges reinstated until 2 years after the date of his/her release from prison. This period does not commence until the expiration of any period of mandatory supervised release or parole.

Illinois DUI Law Effective July 16, 2002

  • Provided for the seizure or forfeiture of the vehicle of a person convicted of driving while his/her driving privileges are suspended or revoked as a result of a DUI, leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, reckless homicide, or for a statutory summary suspension related to the use of alcohol, drugs or intoxicating compounds.

Illinois DUI Law Effective Jan. 1, 2003

  • Required local liquor commissioners to report to the Secretary of State’s office any conviction of a person under age 21 who purchases, accepts, possesses or consumes alcohol. An underage person who violates this provision will receive a 1-year suspension or revocation of his/her driving privileges.
  • Established mandatory minimum fines of $500 for a first offense and $2,000 for a second offense for a person convicted of providing alcohol to a person under age 21. If the underage person is involved in an incident where a death occurs, the person who provided the alcohol may be convicted of a Class 4 felony, which carries possible imprisonment of 1-3 years and a fine of up to $25,000.

Illinois DUI Law Effective July 18, 2003

  • Established Aggravated DUI involving a death as a Class 2 felony, with possible imprisonment of 3-13 years if the violation results in the death of one person or 6-21 years if the violation involves the deaths of two or more persons.

Illinois DUI Law Effective Jan. 1, 2004

  • Prohibited the operation of a watercraft or snowmobile while under the influence of intoxicating compounds.
  • Provided that a person convicted of or pleading guilty to DUI, including any person receiving court supervision for the offense, may be required by the court to attend a victim impact panel.
  • Authorized the court to order a defendant charged with DUI to refrain from operating a vehicle not equipped with a BAIID as a condition of bail.

Illinois DUI Law Effective June 1, 2004

  • Changed the Reckless Homicide provision to include any person convicted of reckless driving in a construction or maintenance zone that results in the death of an individual. The offense is a Class 2 felony with possible imprisonment of 3-14 years; possible imprisonment of 6-28 years if a single incident involving the deaths of two or more persons.

DUI Illinois Law Effective July 6, 2004

  • Established Leaving the Scene of a Crash as a Class 4 felony, with possible imprisonment of 1-3 years.
  • Decreased the time allowed to report leaving the scene of a crash to local law enforcement from one hour to 30 minutes.

Illinois DUI Law Effective July 12, 2004

  • Provided that a person convicted in another state of an offense similar to the Illinois reckless homicide statute may not be granted full driving privileges for 2 years from the date of the person’s suspension or revocation, or within 2 years of the driver being released from a prison term for the offense.
  • Established the offense of Aggravated DUI for a person committing DUI who was previously convicted in another state of an offense similar to the Illinois reckless homicide statute and the driver’s intoxication was an element of the offense.

Illinois DUI Law Effective Oct. 1, 2004

  • Established a legal right of action for unlimited civil damages against any person over age 18 who provides or contributes alcohol or illegal drugs to anyone under age 18 and the provision of alcohol results in a death. Allows such suit for damages, injury or death is caused by the impaired minor.

Illinois DUI Law Effective Jan. 1, 2005

  • Provided that a driver convicted in another state of an offense similar to the Illinois reckless homicide statute may not be granted driving privileges for 2 years from the date of the person’s suspension or revocation, or within 2 years of the driver being released from a prison term for the offense.
  • Established that a person who commits DUI is guilty of Aggravated DUI if he/she has previously been convicted in another state of an offense similar to the Illinois reckless homicide statute.

Illinois DUI Law Effective July 7, 2005

  • Authorized Illinois courts to impose more severe jail or prison sentences for a driver convicted of reckless homicide or DUI while operating a vehicle in excess of 20 mph over the posted speed limit.

Illinois DUI Law Effective Jan. 1, 2006

  • Provided that a driver seeking a Judicial Driving Permit (JDP), who is subsequently charged with driving on a suspended driver’s license or with another DUI before the JDP has been issued, is no longer eligible for a JDP. If a driver has been issued a JDP and is charged with another DUI, the JDP will be canceled.
  • Increased the penalties for DUI while transporting a child under age 16.
  • Provided that a person charged with a felony DUI may not be prosecuted by a municipal attorney, and the state’s attorney is prohibited from giving a municipal attorney this authority.
  • Increased the penalties for a fifth or subsequent conviction of driving on a suspended or revoked driver’s license.
  • Increased the penalties for a driver convicted of Aggravated DUI causing the death of one or more persons.
  • Increased the penalties for a third, fourth or fifth DUI conviction.
  • Classified a sixth or subsequent DUI conviction as a Class X felony.
  • Required a driver arrested for leaving the scene of an accident involving a death or personal injury to be subject to chemical testing and a statutory summary suspension if he/she refuses to submit to or fails chemical testing. A driver is subject to testing within 12 hours of the accident.
  • Provided that a person charged with DUI, who has no valid driver’s license or is not covered by liability insurance, may be charged with Aggravated DUI and his/her vehicle is subject to seizure and forfeiture.
  • Provided that a driver involved in a fatal crash or a crash resulting in severe injuries that result in the injured party being carried from the scene is required to undergo chemical testing.
  • Established tougher penalties for a person over age 21 convicted of DUI while transporting a child under age 16 that results in a crash and bodily harm to the child.
  • Provided that a driver convicted of Aggravated DUI because the DUI violation is the cause of death of one or more persons will be sentenced to imprisonment unless the court determines that extraordinary circumstances exist and require probation.

Illinois DUI Law Effective May 8, 2006

  • Authorized municipalities to charge a DUI offender with a municipal misdemeanor offense for any conduct that constitutes felony DUI if the state’s attorney rejects or denies felony charges for that conduct.

Illinois DUI Law Effective June 28, 2006

  • Authorized the circuit court to collect additional fines from drivers convicted of DUI to be used for DUI enforcement and prevention.

DUI Illinois Law Effective Aug. 31, 2007

  • Prohibited a parent/legal guardian from knowingly authorizing or permitting any person under age 21 to consume alcohol in his/her home by failing to control access to the alcohol in the residence.
  • Prohibited a parent/legal guardian from knowingly allowing access to alcohol in his/her residence to persons under age 21, and from knowingly allowing persons under age 21 to consume alcohol in his/her residence.

Illinois DUI Law Effective Jan. 1, 2008

  • Required local liquor commissioners to report to the Secretary of State’s office court supervisions for violations relating to the transfer, possession, and consumption of alcohol for persons under age 21.
  • Increased penalties for driving with a revoked driver’s license, permit or privilege to operate a motor vehicle if the revocation was the result of a reckless homicide offense.

Illinois DUI Law Effective June 1, 2008

  • Required that a petition to contest the suspension of a person’s driving privileges be filed within 90 days of the Illinois DUI Law Effective date of the suspension if the suspension was the result of a refusal to undergo alcohol/drug testing, or because drugs, intoxicating compounds or alcohol were found in the driver’s system. Eligibility for driving relief is dependent upon whether the denial of all driving privileges may cause undue hardship.
  • Prohibited a driver convicted of four or more DUI offenses, leaving the scene of an accident involving death or personal injury, and/or reckless homicide from receiving an RDP.
  • Authorized the Secretary of State’s office to revoke the driving privileges of any person under age 21 convicted in another state of an offense similar to the Illinois DUI statute.
  • Established the offense of Reckless Homicide for a driver who kills a person in a posted school, construction or maintenance zone while driving more than 10 mph over the posted speed limit or under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.

Illinois DUI Law Effective Aug. 4, 2008

  • Established as a Class 4 felony if a person commits DUI outside the State of Illinois while his/her Illinois driving privileges are revoked or suspended due to a previous DUI or a similar provision of the Illinois Vehicle Code.

Illinois DUI Law Effective Aug. 15, 2008

  • Allowed unused, opened wine purchased in a restaurant to be transported in accordance with Illinois law.
  • Prohibited charter buses being used for school purposes from transporting, carrying or possessing alcohol in the vehicle.

Illinois DUI Law Effective Jan. 1, 2009

  • Required a first-time DUI offender to have a BAIID installed on his/her vehicle as a condition of driving relief. The driver must drive only a vehicle equipped with a BAIID.
  • Replaced the Judicial Driving Permit with the Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP) for first-time DUI offenders.
  • Required a driver with a BAIID installed in his/her vehicle because of a second or subsequent DUI conviction to submit to the Secretary of State DUI Administration Fund an amount not exceeding $30 for each month he/she uses the device.
  • Established a $30 administrative fee paid by the offender for the issuance of an MDDP to be deposited into the Monitoring Device Driving Permit Administration Fee Fund.
  • Allowed a DUI offender who initially chose not to request an MDDP to petition the court for an MDDP later in the suspension period. An offender is not eligible for an MDDP if he/she was previously convicted of Aggravated DUI involving a death.
  • Allowed an MDDP to be canceled if an offender is convicted of or placed on court supervision for specified offenses, or if an offender attempts to remove the BAIID from his/her vehicle without Secretary of State authorization.
  • Increased the suspension period for a first offense for failing chemical testing to 6 months, and 12 months for a first offense for refusing to submit to chemical testing.
  • Allowed a driver with an RDP to transport children living in the person’s household to and from daycare or an acceptable educational institution.

DUI Illinois Law Effective Aug. 11, 2009

  • Increased the penalties for a DUI conviction following a conviction of reckless homicide or a similar provision in any other state to a Class 3 felony (rather than a Class 4) with possible imprisonment of 2-5 years and a $25,000 fine.
  • Established mandatory court-ordered restitution for all defendants convicted of DUI that caused personal injury, or real or personal property damage.

Illinois DUI Law Effective Jan. 1, 2010

  • Allowed for vehicle seizure and forfeiture for driving with a revoked or suspended driver’s license due to a reckless homicide conviction.

Illinois DUI Law Effective Jan. 1, 2011

  • An RDP may be issued to a driver convicted of DUI to transport children, elderly persons or disabled persons who do not have driving privileges and are living in the driver’s household.
  • Allows for vehicle forfeiture for committing DUI and knowing that the vehicle being driven was not covered by liability insurance.
  • Increases the amount of an administrative sanction imposed upon a person convicted of DUI from $500 to $750.
  • Requires that a person accompanying or providing driving instruction to a minor driver holding an instruction permit must not be under the influence of alcohol, drugs, intoxicating compounds or any combination thereof.

Illinois DUI Law Effective Feb. 14, 2011

  • Provides for the automatic issuance of an MDDP by the Secretary of State (rather than issued by the court at the request of the offender) to an eligible first-time DUI offender. The offender may file a petition to decline issuance of the MDDP with the court.

Illinois DUI Law Effective July 1, 2011

  • Requires a statutory summary revocation of a driver’s license or privileges for a driver who refuses chemical testing after being involved in a vehicle accident resulting in serious injury or death to another person.

Illinois DUI Law Effective Aug. 8, 2011

  • An employee who incurs injuries while involved in an Aggravated DUI or Reckless Homicide and is subsequently convicted is not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

Illinois DUI Law Effective Aug. 22, 2011

  • If a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe a driver is operating a vehicle under the influence, the officer may request that the driver submits to a chemical test.

Illinois DUI Law Effective Jan. 1, 2012

  • Local municipalities may impound vehicles and impose administrative fees on a vehicle where the driver was arrested for driving under the influence. If unclaimed, the vehicle can be disposed of as determined by the municipality. The registered owner of the vehicle may request a hearing to contest the fees.
  • Employers of school bus drivers may request an alcohol/drug test if there is reasonable suspicion that a driver may be under the influence. The employer must report to the Secretary of State within 48 hours if the school bus driver refuses to submit to testing, or if the driver’s test reveals a BAC of more than 0.00 or any type of illegal drugs. A positive test or a refusal to submit to testing results in a 3-year suspension of the school bus driver’s permit.

Illinois DUI Law Effective July 20, 2012

  • The Secretary of State shall immediately revoke the driving privileges of a person convicted of a second or subsequent conviction of illegal possession while operating or in control of a motor vehicle. A first-time conviction shall result in suspension of driving privileges for a period of 1 year.

Illinois DUI Law Effective Jan. 1, 2013

  • Parents or guardians who knowingly permit their residence, or any other private property under their control (instead of just their residence), to be used by an invitee under age 21 for the purposes of underage consumption of alcohol, is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
  • A motor vehicle used by an individual who is driving on a suspended or revoked license is subject to seizure and forfeiture if the person’s driving privileges were revoked or suspended as a result of: (1) DUI; (2) leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident involving personal injury or death; (3) failure to submit to drug or alcohol testing; or (4) reckless homicide.
  • A driver under age 25 who is arrested or charged and receiving court supervision for a misdemeanor violation of the reckless driving statute, and who has no other conviction for DUI or reckless driving, is not eligible for sealing or expungement of the violation from his/her record until age 25.

Illinois DUI Law Effective Jan. 1, 2014

  • A person diagnosed by a physician with a debilitating medical condition may be issued a registry ID card by the Illinois Department of Public Health that allows the person to legally possess no more than 2.5 ounces of usable cannabis (marijuana) during a 14-day period. The law prohibiting motorists from having any amount of cannabis in their system does not apply to a registry card holder. However, it is illegal for a cardholder to drive while impaired by cannabis, and he/she may be charged with DUI in those circumstances. Possession of medical cannabis in a vehicle is prohibited unless the product is in a secured and sealed tamper-evident container that is inaccessible while the vehicle is in motion.
  • A person can be charged with Aggravated DUI if he/she is driving a vehicle for- hire carrying passengers.
  • Persons subject to blood tests for refusal to submit to a breath test may be liable for the cost (up to $500) of employing a medical professional to perform the test if the person is found guilty or pleads guilty to DUI.
  • The penalties for driving on a suspended or revoked driver’s license are increased if the suspension or revocation was for reckless homicide, DUI, refusing a chemical test or leaving the scene of a crash involving personal injury or death.
  • A person operating a watercraft under the influence and involved in a crash resulting in personal injury or death is subject to the same chemical testing as a person operating a motor vehicle under the influence. If the person refuses chemical testing, he/she faces a driver’s license suspension.

Illinois DUI Law Effective Jan. 1, 2015

  • It is unlawful for a parent or guardian (instead of any person) to knowingly permit any vehicle, watercraft, or conveyance to be used in a manner that violates the underage drinking statute.
  • Restores the statute allowing criminal penalties for any person to knowingly authorize or permit a residence that he/she occupies to be used by someone under the age 21 if the person knows that the underage person possesses or is consuming alcohol.

DUI Illinois Law Effective Jan. 1, 2016

  • A first-time DUI offender is now eligible to apply for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit during the first 30 days of a statutory summary suspension.
  • A repeat DUI offender is now eligible to apply for a Restricted Driving Permit during a statutory summary suspension (previously no driving relief was available).
  • A person whose driver’s license has been revoked for life as the result of 4 DUI convictions may apply for a Restricted Driving Permit after serving a 5-year revocation and proving a minimum of 3 years of abstinence. The person may only drive vehicles that have been equipped with a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device.
  • A person with 2 or 3 DUI convictions must obtain a restricted driving permit, install a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device on all vehicles owned by the person and may only drive vehicles equipped with the device for a period of 5 years before full driving privileges are restored.
  • A person who has resided in Illinois for a minimum of 10 years and whose driver’s license was revoked in his/her former state of residence may seek an administrative hearing to ask for the issuance of an Illinois driver’s license.
  • A person under age 21 may not be charged with possession or consumption of alcohol by a minor if that person (1) requested medical assistance for an individual due to alcohol consumption; (2) remained at the scene after contacting authorities; and (3) provided his/her full name, other relevant information and cooperated fully with law enforcement officers.

Illinois DUI Law Effective Jan. 1, 2012

  • Local municipalities may impound vehicles and impose administrative fees on a vehicle where the driver was arrested for driving under the influence. If unclaimed, the vehicle can be disposed of as determined by the municipality. The registered owner of the vehicle may request a hearing to contest the fees.
  • Employers of school bus drivers may request an alcohol/drug test if there is reasonable suspicion that a driver may be under the influence. The employer must report to the Secretary of State within 48 hours if the school bus driver refuses to submit to testing, or if the driver’s test reveals a BAC of more than 0.00 or any type of illegal drugs. A positive test or a refusal to submit to testing results in a 3-year suspension of the school bus driver’s permit.

Illinois DUI Law Effective July 29, 2016

  • Any person with a THC level of 5 nanograms or more per milliliter of whole blood or 10 nanograms or more per milliliter of other bodily substances may be charged with DUI.

Illinois DUI Law Effective Aug. 12, 2016

  • The Chief Judge of the circuit court of any Illinois county may order the establishment of a program for electronic monitoring of offenders for alcohol and drug consumption.

Illinois DUI Law Effective Jan. 1, 2017

  • A guilty plea will not be accepted until all penalties have been explained including the possible loss of driving privileges.
  • The Secretary of State shall notify the driver and the Illinois Department of Public Health will revoke a medical cannabis card for a driver convicted of a felony violation of the state or federal Control Substance Act, the Cannabis Control Act of the Methamphetamine Control Act.

Illinois DUI Law Effective Aug. 11, 2017

  • Public officials shall report to the Secretary of State when a juvenile has been convicted or received court supervision for a DUI while operating a snowmobile or watercraft.

Illinois DUI Law Effective Aug. 22, 2017

  • Enhanced penalties apply upon conviction for driving while revoked if the driver is revoked for aggravated DUI that resulted in death. The prosecution may be commenced at any time.

Free Consultation

The Law Offices of Andrew Nickel, LLC
(630) 553-7111
Prairie Pointe Dr., Suite 106
Yorkville, IL 60560

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