Will I go to jail for my first DUI in Illinois
No, in most typical first offender DUI cases today in this state – a person will not be sentenced to jail. However, under new IL 2022 laws today in every county, a DUI first offense in Illinois is categorized as a Class A misdemeanor criminal charge that still carries a possible sentence of serving some jail time. The likelihood of going to jail for DUI is drastically increased in cases when an intoxicated driver caused a car accident with injuries or property damage.
If a 1st offense DUI defendant is convicted in court of the pending charges, a person can expect penalties of up to 12 months jail time, court fines up to $2,650, suspended license up to 2 years, and a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) of up to 1 year as a court condition to get a restricted drivers license.
What happens most often for Illinois first DUI offense convictions with no accident or injuries involved, a person will be sentenced to 1 year probation with an average 100 hours community service as an alternative to serving any jail time.
Illinois DUI penalty chart
DUI Illinois first offense penalties
Common first DUI conviction 2022 consequences to expect will happen for a Class A misdemeanor offense in Illinois is:
- Minimum revocation of driving privileges for 12 months (24 months if a DUI driver is under age 21)
- Suspension of vehicle registration
If a convicted first-time DUI offender was charged with a BAC of .16 or higher, additional penalties or fines will apply such as mandatory minimum court fine of $550 and mandatory minimum sentence of at least 100 hours of community service.
When a convicted 1st DUI offender committed the offense while driving a minor under age the age of 16 – on top of higher court fines, a longer jail time sentence is likely of up to 6 months, mandatory minimum fine of $1,300 and 30 days of community service in a program benefiting children.
If the DUI offense occurred while driving a child under age 16 and a car accident took place which caused injury to a child, the first offense will be upgraded to Aggravated DUI which is a Class 4 felony in Illinois. Furthermore, any other court or IL DMV sanctions will be more severe, that often includes an average mandatory fine of at least $2,650 and 27 days of community service in a local program that benefits children in your area.
Illinois DUI first offense court supervision
IL first DUI probation punishment will include of being placed on Court Supervision for a minimum of 12 months and at least 100 hours of local community service. Typically with 2022 Illinois DUI court supervision, additional court and administrative fines and penalties are also imposed, along with an automatic license suspension unless revocation can be avoided at the administrative license review hearing.
However, even in cases when a license gets suspended at the DMV license review hearing, most first-time DUI offenders in Illinois are eligible to get a restricted license to legally drive again with a breath alcohol ignition interlock device installed in any vehicle they will be operating. Moreover, the maximum allowable IL state sentence for a first DUI offender is 12 months in jail and up to $2,650 in court imposed fines.
It is also important to note that getting court supervision for DUI is only an option for first time offenders in Illinois. How DUI court supervision works, is when an individual successfully completes the court supervision time as ordered by a judge, it will result in no first DUI conviction being on your public criminal record.
In every case today, the ultimate best case scenario for a first time DUI offender in Illinois is a court ruling of not guilty or case dismissal, with the next best case outcome being to get court supervision. It is also noteworthy that criminal consequences and suspension length of your license will be significantly increased with a second or more DUI arrests.
Even with successful completion of Illinois DUI court supervision, a first offense will still be counted against a person if facing new DUI charges in the future. This is another reason why to always fight pending IL first DUI charges to get dropped or dismissed from the start of the case, so a criminal record stays completely clear.
New Illinois DUI laws 2022
2022 IL DUI laws are evolving as more officials join the fight against drunk driving. Illinois DUI prevention efforts have received national recognition and the organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving includes Illinois among its five-star DUI prevention states.
How long do you lose your license for a DUI in Illinois
First DUI Conviction Penalties in Illinois
Illegal blood-alcohol content (BAC) limits in Illinois are 0.08 percent for drivers ages 21 or older, 0.04 percent for drivers with commercial licenses, and 0.00 percent for school bus drivers. BAC of 0.05 to 0.08 percent may result in a DUI conviction if other evidence illustrates that the driver was impaired. Reaction time decreases long before BAC reaches 0.08 percent and with a 0.06 percent BAC, a driver is two times as likely to experience a fatal crash as is one with 0.00 percent BAC.
An initial Illinois DUI conviction is usually classified as a Class A misdemeanor. As mentioned, typical 2022 consequences to expect for what will happen for a first DUI in IL include fines, one-year revocation of driving privileges, and vehicle registration suspension. If the court approves driving relief, an ignition interlock device equipped with a camera must be installed in the vehicle. First-time offenders transporting children younger than age 16 at the time of the incident face additional fines of $1,000, up to six months in jail, and 25 days of specialized community service.
Aggravated DUI involves felony charges that carry steeper fines, extended driver license suspension periods, and longer time in jail. Mandatory community service or imprisonment may not be reduced or suspended. If the court sentences the individual to conditional discharge or probation, a minimum of ten days in jail or at least 480 hours of community service are required.
Underage DUI in Illinois
Illinois has instituted zero-tolerance DUI laws regarding underage drivers. Drivers younger than 21 can be charged with DUI if their BAC exceeds 0.00 percent. Consequences of an initial conviction include all penalties faced by drivers age 21 or older plus revocation of the driver license for up to two years. A judge may also require the individual to participate in the Illinois Youthful Intoxicated Driver’s Visitation Program, a supervised visit to view results of DUI crashes or alcoholism.
Underage drivers who refuse to submit to BAC testing or fail to complete these tests face six-month suspension of their driving privileges for a first DUI offense. Illinois suspended licenses of 1,210 underage drivers during 2012 for chemical testing refusal or BAC higher than 0.00 percent. That year, law enforcement officials arrested nearly 2,700 underage drivers for DUI and suspended their driving privileges.
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Taryn J. White is a legal research specialist and DUI law news reporter. Her current accomplishments include helping those facing any driving under the influence arrest charges, get free online assistance in learning how to fight a DUI case for the best possible outcome.