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The Facts About Driving Under The Influence (DUI)

Posted in Criminal Defense on Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

Many of us enjoy going to our favorite restaurant and having a glass of wine with dinner or having a couple of cocktails at a local bar or club on the weekend with friends. While social drinking is a perfectly acceptable activity in our society, getting behind the wheel after having a few drinks is not. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) carries stiff penalties and fines and may result in the loss of your driver’s license. Here is what you need to know regarding what the law is in Illinois regarding driving under the influence as well as the penalties you may face if you are charged with DUI.

Illinois DUI Laws

Under the Illinois Compiled Statutes (625 ILCS 5/11-501), you can be charged with DUI for any of the following:

  • Driving with a blood alcohol (BAC) content level of .08 or greater;
  • Driving under the influence of any intoxicating compound, such as illegal or street drugs, which can impair your judgement; or
  • Driving while under the influence of any prescription or over-the-counter drugs that can impair your judgement.

According to the 2015 Illinois DUI Handbook, the use of marijuana is allowed in Illinois for medicinal purposes, but users must be registered with the Illinois Department of Public Health and have written certification by an Illinois physician. If you are stopped and a police officer suspects you are under the influence of marijuana, even if you have a prescription for it, you are subject to a field test and can be charged with DUI if the arresting officer determines that you are impaired.

DUI Penalties

According to the 2015 Illinois Handbook, close to 35,000 DUI arrests were made in 2013. Roughly 86 percent of these drivers were first time offenders. The Illinois State Police list the following penalties associated with DUI in Illinois:

First DUI Conviction

  • One year driver’s license suspension;
  • Imprisonment up to a year; and
  • Fines up to $2,500.

Second DUI Conviction

  • Five year driver’s license suspension;
  • Imprisonment up to one year;
  • 240 hours of community service; and
  • Fines up to $2,500.

Third DUI Conviction

  • Minimum ten year driver’s license suspension;
  • Imprisonment for up to seven years with mandatory 18 to 30 month periodic sentence; and
  • Fines up to $25,000.

If you were driving under the influence of alcohol or another substance when you were involved in a car accident, you could face an aggravated DUI charge. The penalties for this charge include a minimum one year driver’s license suspension, imprisonment for up to 12 years, and up to $25,000 in fines.

Contact Our Experienced Will County DUI Attorneys Today

If you or a loved one have been charged with driving under the influence, call Sabuco, Beck, Hansen, Massino & Pollack, PC today. Our experienced Will County DUI attorneys understand the serious ramifications that can result from these charges. We provide aggressive legal defense while protecting your rights and privileges as a driver. With offices throughout Will County and the surrounding area, call Sabuco, Beck, Hansen, Massino & Pollack, P.C. today for an initial consultation.

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