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License suspension, jail time, and fines


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    If you are convicted of a DUI in Illinois, even if there is not evidence to prove that you had a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .08 percent or above at the time you were operating a motor vehicle, you can be sure that there will be a number of legal consequences assessed. The following provides an explanation of the three most common legal consequences of drinking and driving: license suspension, jail time, and fines.

    License suspension

    While some other states choose to not suspend a driver’s license for a first-time DUI conviction–unless the offense is especially egregious, such as one that results in injury to another party–the state of Illinois maintains a mandatory one-year license suspension period for those convicted of a DUI, even if it is a first conviction.

    There are some cases in which the state may grant a license to those who need to drive for work, school, or in order to perform other essential tasks. However, for these parties, driving will only be allowed if the person agrees to install an interlock ignition device (IID) within their vehicle.

    Jail time

    While there is no mandatory minimum incarceration period for a first-time DUI as there is a mandatory one-year license suspension, jail time certainly is possible. In fact, a person can be sentenced to jail for up to one year for a first-time DUI conviction. That being said, the odds of going to jail for a first-time DUI offense are slim. Most of the time, defendants reach a plea deal with the prosecution where they attend alcohol classes, agree to perform community service, etc. in exchange for not having jail time as part of their sentence.


    Getting a DUI is expensive. In addition to paying lawyer and court fees, you will also most certainly be charged a fine as part of your DUI conviction penalty. The maximum fine for a first-time conviction is $2,500.

    Subsequent convictions mean larger penalties

    All of the information above is relative to first-time DUI offenses. But subsequent convictions will carry more severe penalties, which are important to understand if this is not the first time you’ve been charged with driving under the influence.

    • Second conviction. If you are convicted of a DUI a second time, penalties may include:
      • Five years of license revocation;
      • Five days of mandatory jail time or mandatory community service of 240 hours (jail sentence can be up to one year); and
      • Fine of up to $2,500.
    • Third conviction. Not surprising, the penalties for a third conviction are more serious, especially because a third DUI is considered a Class 2 felony. Penalties include:
      • 10-year loss of driving privileges;
      • Jail time of up to seven years and at least 18 months; and
      • A fine of up to $25,000 (10 times that of the fine for a first or second offense!)

    If you have more questions about license suspension, jail time, or fines following a DUI charge or conviction, call a lawyer near you.

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