When a person is arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), one of the biggest fears they are likely to have is the possibility of spending time in jail, whether between the arrest and the trial or as part of the sentence resulting from a criminal conviction. While it is possible for a DUI arrest to lead to jail time, recent changes in Illinois laws and the increased use of electronic monitoring devices have significantly reduced the likelihood that DUI offenders will have to spend time in jail

Misdemeanor DUI Arrest: Usually No Jail, No Bail

Historically, those who were arrested on misdemeanor DUI charges in Illinois were generally processed and immediately released on their own recognizance without having to pay bail. This includes most first-time and second-time DUI arrestees charged with misdemeanor offenses.

The Illinois Bail Reform Act of 2017 created a presumption that “any conditions of release imposed shall be non-monetary in nature” for nonviolent, low-level crimes such as driving under the influence. In December of 2020, the Illinois legislature passed the Illinois Pretrial Fairness Act, which promises to eliminate cash bail for all criminal suspects. The bill is awaiting the signature of Governor J.B. Pritzker in order to become law, but he is expected to sign the measure in the coming weeks. In place of cash bail, the court may set conditions of release such as electronic home monitoring, curfews, drug counseling, stay-away orders, and in-person reporting.

Many Illinois counties also use secure continuous remote alcohol monitoring (SCRAM) ankle bracelets to monitor DUI offenders. A SCRAM bracelet automatically tests the wearer’s perspiration for alcohol content every 30 minutes and immediately alerts the police if the alcohol level gets too high.

Felony Aggravated DUI Arrest: Jail or Electronic Monitoring

Drivers charged with the felony crime of aggravated DUI are more likely to be subject to more stringent bail conditions such as being required to wear an electronic SCRAM alcohol-monitoring ankle bracelet. This includes offenders with two or more prior DUI convictions. Additionally, at least some jail time is likely for a person who is convicted of felony DUI, especially if the drunk driver caused an accident in which someone was seriously injured or killed.

Contact a McHenry County DUI Defense Attorney

If you have been arrested for DUI, particularly in a case of aggravated or felony DUI, you could be facing potential jail time. For legal representation and help with your defense strategy, contact an experienced Crystal Lake DUI defense lawyer at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC. Call 815-338-3838 for a free, confidential consultation regarding your case today.







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