Motorists will be subject to severe DUI penalties in Illinois if they commit an alcohol-related offense and fail to stay in accordance with state drunk driving laws. Drivers may be charged with DUI and incur tough punishments in the form of license suspensions, large fines and more both by the Secretary of State (SOS) and the courts.

Generally, the penalties following an IL DWI conviction are more serious as they may include mandatory imprisonment, as well as community service among others. When reinstating a DUI suspended license, violators will need to complete specific steps and submit certain documents to an SOS office. Get detailed Illinois drunk driving information by reading the following sections:

  • DUI citations and convictions in Illinois
  • Illinois under the influence violations and penalties
  • Drinking and driving in Illinois
  • Illinois DUI attorneys
  • Illinois open container laws
  • Reinstating a suspended driver’s license in Illinois
  • Illinois alcohol awareness classes
  • Illinois SR-22 insurance
  • Illinois laws that pertain to DUI/DWI
  • Hardship license in Illinois

DUI Citations and Convictions in Illinois

If you are subject to an IL DWI arrest or receive a traffic ticket after being pulled over by a police officer, you must sign the form and cooperate with the officer on duty. The issuance of a DWI ticket typically implies that you need to solve the matter in court as stated on the form.

The DUI penalties that follow if found guilty by the presiding court are tougher than any administrative sanctions imposed by IL SOS as they include steep fines, jail sentences, mandatory community service and more. Under Illinois DUI laws, you can be convicted of several DUI violations, including failing or refusing to complete a chemical testing.

Illinois Under the Influence Violations and Penalties

The punishments imposed on motorists who commit a DUI violation in Illinois may differ based on the circumstances of the offense. For instance, drivers younger than 21 years of age may be charged with DUI and incur an administrative (statutory summary) suspension or conviction for any amount of alcohol detected in their system.

Adult drivers, on the other hand, will incur strict penalties for higher amounts of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in their body. The number of prior IL DUI offenses on violators’ driving transcript is also a contributing factor to the seriousness of the issued penalties in addition to motorists’ age and the BAC level at the time of testing.

First DUI Offense

A first Illinois DWI conviction will be considered a Class A misdemeanor and will lead to a minimum revocation of your driving credential for one year — two years if you are an underage driver — and a car registration suspension.

If your chemical testing shows that you have violated state drunk driving laws by driving a vehicle with a BAC of .16 percent or more, additional penalties including a minimum fine of $500 and 100 hours of community service will apply.

Even tougher punishments, including a possible jail sentence, will follow provided you have committed a DUI violation while transporting a passenger younger than 16 years of age.

Second DUI Offense

Convictions of second DUI offenses result in a jail sentence of minimum five days or 240 hours of community work, a vehicle registration suspension and a five-year driver’s license revocation (for violations committed within 20 years).

Motorists charged with a second DUI in Illinois due to operating with a BAC at .16 or higher will incur a mandatory fine of $1,250 in addition to other punishments. Getting a DUI for the second time due to violating state alcohol-related laws while transporting a child younger than 16 will be considered a class 2 felony and, therefore, penalized even harsher.

Third and Subsequent DUI Offenses

Drivers who fail to adhere to the imposed Illinois DUI laws for the third time and are therefore convicted of an aggravated DUI, will incur a revocation of their driving license for a minimum 10-year period of time and a suspension of their auto registration.

If the committed DUI violation results from excessive BAC (.16 percent or higher), a mandatory 90-day jail time and a $2,500 fine will apply in addition to other court- or SOS-imposed sanctions. Any subsequent violations of such type within the state will lead to similar but tougher penalties.

Drinking and Driving in Illinois

DUI and DWI offenses are highly dangerous as alcohol is generally considered the main reason for the increased number of vehicle accidents resulting in bodily injuries or death of another person.

Therefore, authorized agencies enforce strict IL drunk driving laws in an attempt to control drivers’ behavior while behind the wheel and prevent them from driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

The issued DUI consequences in Illinois will be even stricter for repeat offenders and motorists caught driving with a BAC of .16 percent or more, as they are more inclined to cause a vehicle accident resulting in bodily harm or fatalities.

Illinois DUI Attorneys

Hiring a DUI defense attorney in IL is a step that should not be avoided by drivers with one or more convictions on their driving report.

Note that seeking help with an experienced DUI lawyer greatly increases your chances of keeping the potential penalties to a minimum. A good Illinois drunk driving attorney who is well-acquainted with state rules and regulations must be able to provide assistance in completing any necessary documents and prepare a defense which is adequate to the circumstances of your case.

Illinois Open Container Laws

Motorists who wish to avoid serious IL drunk driving charges and penalties must also remember to stay in accordance with the state law on open containers.

According to this DUI law, it is illegal for motorists and passengers to consume alcoholic beverages in a motor vehicle or have an open container with alcohol in the passenger area. Note that this law does not apply to passengers on a chartered bus, limousine, motor homes and mini motor homes.

Reinstating a Suspended Drivers License in Illinois

The procedure to reinstate an Illinois DUI suspended license will differ based on whether you have incurred a statutory summary suspension or a court-imposed revocation.

An administrative DUI drivers license suspension requires you to clear all other suspensions or revocations on your driving history and submit payment for the applicable reinstatement fees to the Secretary of State.

When reinstating your driving privileges after incurring a DWI conviction in Illinois, you will be required to complete the following steps:

  • Ensure they have a clear driving report.
  • Complete an alcohol/drug evaluation and remedial education program.
  • Appear for an informal hearing before an SOS hearing officer and demonstrate that you will avoid alcohol-related violations in the future.
  • Submit proof of financial responsibility.
  • Pass the required driving exams and arrange payment for the appropriate application and restoration fees.

Note: Contact a local SOS office in Illinois and check whether other reinstatement requirements, such as the installation of a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) apply to your case.

Illinois Alcohol Awareness Classes

Enrolling into specialized IL DUI classes is usually one of the requirements that motorists will need to complete in order to restore their driving activities within the state.

Participation in an alcohol-related traffic school program after committing a DUI violation is generally required so that drivers can learn more about the detrimental effects of alcohol on safe driving practices, as well as the ways to avoid this type of offenses in the future.

Illinois SR-22 Insurance

If you are applying to reinstate your Illinois DUI suspended license due to a court conviction, you must also present proof of financial responsibility to finalize the process. As proof of insurance after DUI in IL, you will need to submit an SR-22 form and maintain it on file with the Secretary of State for a period of three years.

Illinois Laws That Pertain to DUI/DWI

You will be in violation of the set Illinois DUI laws and subject to administrative and criminal penalties for refusing to submit to a chemical testing or failing it due to an illegal amount of alcohol in your system. Failure of a chemical test implies that you have been operating a vehicle with a BAC at .08 percent or more.

Though an administrative DUI drivers license suspension does not apply to adult motorists driving with a BAC higher than .05 but less than .08 percent, the related DUI charges will remain until the case is resolved in court. Drunk driving laws in IL are harsher for drivers younger than 21 who will incur tough punishments for any amount of alcohol detected in their system.

Hardship License in Illinois

First-time IL drunk driving offenders with a statutory summary suspension may be eligible to obtain a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP) for the purposes of operating a vehicle while completing their suspension period. One of the eligibility requirements in such case is installing a BAIID and maintaining the device during the suspension.

Drivers with a DWI conviction, on the other hand, may apply for a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP) once they prove they have completed an alcohol evaluation and submit proof of remedial education or treatment (if applicable).

Motorists convicted of an Illinois DUI violation will also need to appear for an SOS hearing, pay the applicable fees and have a BAIID installed on their vehicle for the duration of the RDP provided they have more than one DUI conviction on their report.

Last updated on Wednesday, March 4 2020.