Driving under the influence (DUI) is a very serious offense and is one of the most commonly committed criminal offenses across America. In 2014 over 1.1 million people were arrested for DUI in the United States. The penalties for DUI can vary greatly from state to state and it is important to know what you are facing should you be arrested for DUI in Illinois. As always it is best to first consult an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible following your arrest.
What Constitutes DUI in Illinois
Illinois Compiled Statute 625 is the state’s controlling law for DUI. It states that anyone who drives or is in actual physical control of a vehicle within the state with a blood alcohol content of over .08 or while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance to the extent they are unable to drive safely is guilty of DUI.
This means that you do not actually have to be driving your vehicle in order to be guilty of DUI in Illinois. For example, if you are sitting, or even sleeping, in your vehicle with the keys in the ignition but the car is in park, you could still be charged with DUI because you would be in actual physical control of your vehicle.
Additionally, while many people call DUI, “drunk driving”, you can also be guilty of DUI if you are under the influence of a controlled substance. This also applies to controlled substances you may have a valid prescription for if that substance impairs your ability to safely operate your vehicle.
What are the Penalties for DUI in Illinois?
Penalties for DUI can vary from state to state and it is important to know what they are in your state. In Illinois the penalties for a first DUI include a fine up to $2,500, a mandatory loss of your driver’s license for a minimum of one year and a period of up to one year in jail.
If you are being charged with a second DUI in Illinois the punishments are greatly enhanced. If convicted you may be subjected to a loss of your driver’s license for a minimum of five years, a fine of up to $2,500, 240 hours of community service, as well as a period of incarceration of a minimum of five days with a maximum of one year in jail.
If you are being charged with a DUI beyond a second offense, the penalties become felonies and are life altering. The possible penalties if convicted include fines of up to $25,000, a minimum driver’s license suspension of ten years, a minimum prison term of 18-30 months with a maximum of seven years in prison.
Contact an Attorney Today
If you are charged with a DUI in Illinois, do not wait to contact an experienced, aggressive attorney. Regardless of the circumstances of your DUI arrest in the Chicago area, contact an attorney to fight for you and preserve your rights. David Freidberg will provide you with aggressive, experienced representation to guide you through this difficult time in your life.