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Illinois First Offender DUI, at its least severe, is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to $2500 in fines, and up to 364 days in jail. If someone suffers great bodily harm as a result of the drunken driving, Illinois will raise the charge to a felony. The first DUI conviction can result in the loss of your license for a minimum of one year. You could also be required to attend Victim Impact Programs, be evaluated and complete any alcohol counseling required, perform community service, or any other requirements made by a Judge.

STATUTORY SUMMARY SUSPENSION LAW: If you are arrested and found to have a blood alcohol content BAC of .08 percent or more and/or any impairing drug in your system while operating a motor vehicle, your driving license will be automatically suspended for three months. At the time of arrest, the officer will take your license, and if it is valid, will provide you with a temporary receipt allowing you to drive for 45 days. Your suspension begins on the 46th day from the arrest date and will not be terminated until you pay the reinstatement fee and your record is updated.

DUI in general is punishable by up to 364 days in jail, and up to $2500 in fines. First offenders are eligible for supervision (not a conviction), the legal breath limit is 0.08 for alcohol, and any amount of intoxicating drug or compound in blood. A conviction results in automatic revocation (permanent deprivation) of driving priviliges in Illinois.


You may challenge a suspension at a judicial hearing: To contest a summary suspension, a petition must be filed in the circuit court of venue within 90 days of receiving your notice of summary suspension. The burden of proof at a summary suspension hearing rests upon you. A hearing must be held within 30 days of the date the petition is filed, or on the first appearance date if a traffic ticket is issued for filing of the DUI charge.


A person under age 21 found guilty of DUI may be ordered by a judge, as a condition of probation or discharge, to participate in the Youthful Intoxicated Driver's Visitation Program. In this case, you will undergo a comprehensive counseling session prior to visitation to determine if the program is appropriate. If approved, you may be sent on a supervised visit to a location where the results of alcoholism or DUI crashes can be viewed.

If you were suspended prior to age 18, you will be required to successfully complete a driver remedial education course to make your driving privileges valid again. In addition, you may be required to submit to a complete driver’s license examination to be re-issued a driver’s license.

Yes, you can one be arrested for a DUI even if you are not driving. You need only to be in "actual physical control" of a motor vehicle. For example, you could be sitting behind the wheel in park, with the engine off and the radio on, and be considered in "physical control" even though not driving.

During 2001, 91 percent of drivers arrested for DUI who either failed or refused chemical testing lost their driving privileges; 82 percent of those were first offenders. Sixty-two percent of the summary suspension were for failed chemical tests, while 38 percent were for refusals. The Secretary of State's office also recorded 251 suspensions for Illinois drivers who refused chemical tests in other states. (If an Illinois driver refuses to submit to chemical testing in another state, his/her Illinois driving privileges will be suspended.)

**The term "first offender” is somewhat misleading. Technically, those with a prior DUI conviction, court supervision, or reduction to reckless driving more than five years before the date of current arrest are considered first offenders even though they are ineligible for court supervision on the criminal charge of DUI.

Drivers Under 21

In Illinois, the minimum legal drinking age is 21 years. Licenses for drivers under 21 are issued with a red header and a blue photo background. Effective January 2003 under 21 licenses say "Under 21 Until" ... and "Under 18 Until" .... Under 21 licenses issued prior to January 2003 have a red header above the photo and the words "Under 21." If you are under age 21 and convicted of DUI:

the Secretary of State’s office will revoke your driving privileges for a minimum of two years. A second DUI conviction will result in a license revocation for a minimum of five years or until you reach age 21, whichever is longer. A third DUI conviction, which is a Class 4 felony, will result in a minimum 10-year revocation. A fourth DUI conviction will result in a lifetime revocation. Your license also will be suspended for conviction of illegal transportation or possession of alcohol.

the Secretary of State’s office may issue you a restricted license after one year, but under no conditions will an RDP be issued until the age of 16. This license may be used between the hours of 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. or as otherwise provided. It is valid for one year. Then, you would be evaluated again by the Secretary of State’s office.

you may be fined up to $2,500 and given a jail sentence of up to one year.

you may be directed to participate in a Youthful Intoxicated Driver’s Visitation Program.

If you are under 21 and are arrested for any traffic violation and found to have a trace of alcohol in your system while operating a motor vehicle, your driving privileges will be suspended for three months. If you refuse to submit to testing, your driving privileges will be suspended for six months. If you are a second offender, your privileges will be suspended for 12 months if you fail or 24 months if you refuse to test. Your suspension begins on the 46th day from the notice date and will not be terminated until you pay the reinstatement fee and your record is updated. If you were suspended prior to age 18, you will be required to successfully complete a driver remedial education course to make your driving privileges valid again. In addition, you may be required to submit to a complete driver’s license examination to be re-issued a driver’s license. A traffic stop for Zero Tolerance can be upgraded to a DUI arrest depending on test results or a test refusal, at the discretion of the investigating officer.

Any person under the age of 21 that is convicted of illegal consumption, attempting to purchase or possession of alcohol, or accepting an alcoholic beverage as a gift, will lose their driving privileges for one year.

A person under age 21 found guilty of DUI may be ordered by a judge, as a condition of probation or discharge, to participate in the Youthful Intoxicated Driver's Visitation Program. In this case, you will undergo a comprehensive counseling session prior to visitation to determine if the program is appropriate. If approved, you may be sent on a supervised visit to a location where the results of alcoholism or DUI crashes can be viewed.

If you were suspended prior to age 18, you will be required to successfully complete a driver remedial education course to make your driving privileges valid again. In addition, you may be required to submit to a complete driver’s license examination to be re-issued a driver’s license.

Yes, you can one be arrested for a DUI even if you are not driving. You need only to be in "actual physical control" of a motor vehicle. For example, you could be sitting behind the wheel in park, with the engine off and the radio on, and be considered in "physical control" even though not driving.

During 2001, 91 percent of drivers arrested for DUI who either failed or refused chemical testing lost their driving privileges; 82 percent of those were first offenders. Sixty-two percent of the summary suspension were for failed chemical tests, while 38 percent were for refusals. The Secretary of State's office also recorded 251 suspensions for Illinois drivers who refused chemical tests in other states. (If an Illinois driver refuses to submit to chemical testing in another state, his/her Illinois driving privileges will be suspended.)

**The term "first offender” is somewhat misleading. Technically, those with a prior DUI conviction, court supervision, or reduction to reckless driving more than five years before the date of current arrest are considered first offenders even though they are ineligible for court supervision on the criminal charge of DUI.


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