A DUI (driving under the influence) charge is a serious crime in Illinois. If you are pulled over and charged with a DUI, the consequences may change depending on your situation. For a first-time offender, a DUI is a class A misdemeanor, and you may be facing up to one year in prison with up to $2,500 in fines and a potential license suspension. However, if you are a recurring DUI offender in Illinois, your driver’s license may be suspended for an extended period of time or revoked completely.
Legal Blood Alcohol Limit
In the state of Illinois, a person is considered legally intoxicated when his or her blood alcohol level is 0.08 or higher. If a person is pulled over while driving, a police officer may test a driver’s level of intoxication a few ways:
Administering a blood alcohol test through a breathalyzer
Field sobriety one-legged stand test
The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test for eye movement
Blood alcohol test (upon arrest)
A first-time DUI conviction will be faced with much lesser consequences than a recurring conviction. Depending on the level of intoxication and whether there was a minor child in the vehicle at the time of the DUI, the penalties may fluctuate. With a blood alcohol level of 0.16 or higher, there is a minimum fine of $500. If there was a minor in the car, the driver may face a minimum fine of $1,000 and six months of jail time. A maximum level of one year of jail time is set for a first-time DUI conviction. Typically, community service is required as well. For the first-time offense, a driver’s license may be suspended for up to one year.
Reoccuring Suspension or Revocation
After your first DUI offense, the consequences become more severe as the offender continues to drive under the influence of a substance. A second-time offense will have stricter penalties including heftier fines, longer potential jail time, and a three-year suspension of the driver’s license. There also may be a reinstatement fee to reapply to get a license back after it had been suspended. Recurrences for the third time may be faced with license revocation. This means that the license will be permanently taken away for a minimum of 10 years. Any DUI after a third-time offense will lead to a permanent lifetime revocation of a driving license.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me?
If you are a first-time or second-time DUI offender looking for representation, a criminal defense attorney with experience in traffic violations may be able to provide you with a strong defense. There are a few ways that an attorney can defend against a DUI including lack of probable cause to pull over the driver or a faulty alcohol level test administration. For repeat offenders, an attorney may be able to represent you during a secretary of state hearing to reinstate your driver’s license after it has been revoked.
Talk With a Kane County Defense Attorney
Here at The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola, our skilled Kane County defense attorney has experience representing DUI offenders. We understand that the nature of this offense as well as its consequences can be devastating, and attorney Brian J. Mirandola may be able to represent you in a defense. For a free initial consultation with us, call 847-488-0889 to discuss your DUI charge and license suspension or revocation.