Learn More About DWIs

Illinois DUI & DWI Laws

Feb 23, 2016

Illinois is more vague with their DUI convictions that most states, but that doesn’t mean that it’s more lenient. Illinois has laws, such as enhanced penalties for higher BAC and  drivers with children passengers, that make standardize some punishments for DUIs. A driver can be arrested for a DUI if they are operating a vehicle above their legal limit set for that state.

The legal limit in Illinois is as follows:

  • Standard, non-commercial drivers: 0.08% BAC
  • Commercial drivers: 0.04% BAC
  • Drivers under 21: 0% BAC

Penalties, Fines, & Suspension

In Illinois, the penalties are largely associated based on the other factors in a situation. The court primarily looks at the BAC level, if there were any injuries or deaths as a result, or if there were any children involved. After a third DUI, the charge is upgraded to an aggravated DUI, which is considered a felony. Other situations that are increased to aggravated DUI are: operating a school bus, driving in a school zone during school hours, causing bodily harm during the incident, transporting a minor under 16, vehicular manslaughter, or not having a driver’s license or insurance.

According to the Illinois DUI Fact Book, the average cost of a DUI conviction in Illinois is $16,580. That cost is not inclusive of an damages, medical treatments, or anything else that may occur because of a DUI.

Item Cost Final Cost
Insurance High-risk insurance (Additional $1,500 per year, required for 3 years.) $4,500
Legal Fees Uncontested plea and hardship driving permit. $2,000
Court Costs Fine of up to $2,500. Court costs — $750. Reimbursements to law enforcement, towing and storage fees — $250. Trauma center fund — $100 $3,600
Income Loss Loss of 4 weeks income due to jail or community service, evaluations and remedial education classes. (Loss based on average yearly income of $55,000.) $4,230
Rehabilitation Remedial substance abuse class — $50. Counseling fees — $200. $250
Drivers License Reinstatement $500 plus $30 for a new license; Formal hearing fee — $50. $580
Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device Installation — $100; rental fee — $80 per month/$960 per year; monitoring fee — $30 per month/$360 per year $1,420
Total Average Cost: $16,580

Chemical Test Refusal

Illinois driver’s are required to comply with chemical test refusal, for penalty of having their driver’s license suspended. Additionally, if a commercial driver refuses chemical testing, they will have suspended CDL privilege for the first offense and a lifetime disqualification for any subsequent offenses.

1st offense: 12 month driving privilege suspension
2nd and subsequent offenses: 3 year driving privilege suspension

Ignition Interlock

Illinois requires the use of a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) for all DUI first offenders. This device only allows the driver to operate the vehicle after passing a breath anayzler test. The installation cost will be covered by the convicted party in addition to the other fines and penalties.

Criminal Record

A DWI penalty conviction will stay on a person’s record for life. Drivers can only fight to have their records expunged if acquitted, dismissed, or reduced at the time of the trial. Once the conviction is ruled, there is no way to remove a DWI/DUI from a person’s record.

Enhanced Penalty

Enhanced penalties are used in some states to create additional fines and punishments for drivers who register over a certain BAC. Illinois has established their enhanced penalty BAC level at .16% are subject to additional charges.

1st offense: minimum $500 fine and mandatory minimum 100 hours of community service
2nd offense: two days in jail and mandatory $1,250 fine
3rd offenses: 90 days and mandatory $2,500 fine
4th and subsequent offenses: $5,000 fine

Under 21

Illinois is a “Zero Tolerance” state when it comes to minors drinking and driving. The state increases penalties for anyone under 21 that has a measurable amount of alcohol registered in a chemical test. If a minor registers over 0%, they can be charged with a DUI, or driving under the influence. In addition to having their driver’s privileges suspended, a minor may also be ordered to participate in courses or counselling to address underage drinking.

1st offense: 3 month suspension of driving privileges; 6 month suspension of driving privileges if the driver refused a chemical test.
2nd offense: 1 year suspension of driving privileges; 1 year suspension of driving privileges if the driver refused a chemical test.

DWI with a Child Passenger

If a driver is convicted of a DUI while they have a child under 16 in their vehicle, there are additional, enhanced penalties associated with the charge.

1st offense: additional imprisonment of up to six months, minimum fine of $1,000 and 25 days of community service in a program benefiting children.
2nd offense: fine of $5,000 and 25 days of community service in a program benefiting children.
3rd and subsequent offenses: fine of $25,000 and 25 days of community service in a program benefiting children.

More on IL DUI Laws:

Illinois DUI Fact Book:

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Updated: May 24, 2016 at 10:53 am