Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, drugs, or other substances is a criminal offense in the State of Illinois. Any person who commits this offense can face severe criminal punishment, including but not limited to confinement in jail and criminal fines. Furthermore, DUI offenders in Illinois will likely lose their driving privileges for a period of time. To avoid these charges, it is vital to comprehend the precise boundaries of Illinois laws against and punishment for DUI.
Illinois Laws Against DUI
The Illinois laws against DUI appear at 625 ILCS 5/11-501. Under this section, it is illegal to operate — or be in physical control of — a motor vehicle while:
- Their blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) meets or exceeds 0.08%;
- Under the influence of alcohol;
- Under the influence of any intoxicating compound or combination of intoxicating compounds;
- Under the influence of any drug or combination of drugs;
- Under the combined influence of alcohol, intoxicating compounds, drugs, or other substances;
- There is any amount of an illegal controlled substance, such as heroin or cocaine, in the driver’s body;
- There is a qualifying tetrahydrocannabinol concentration in the driver’s body, resulting from consumption of marijuana.
From a legal standpoint, under the influence refers to an ability to operate a motor vehicle in a safe and careful manner. The moment a driver loses this ability due to consumption of alcohol or other substances, it can qualify as a DUI under Illinois law.
Illinois Punishment for DUI
Section 11-501 also furnishes the Illinois punishment for DUI. Under this section, DUI is typically charged as a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois. But the precise nature of the punishment can fluctuate based on various factors. For example:
- First DUI Conviction — The offender can face a maximum of 364 days in jail and $2,500 in criminal fines;
- First DUI Conviction (BAC = 0.16 or more) — The offender can face the penalties above as well as a mandatory minimum of 100 hours of community service and at least $500 in criminal fines;
- Second DUI Conviction — The offender can face a maximum of 364 days in jail and $2,500 in criminal fines as well as a mandatory minimum of 240 hours of community service or confinement for at least five days; or
- Second DUI Conviction (BAC = 0.16 or more) — The offender can face the penalties above as well as a mandatory minimum of confinement for two days and at least $1,250 in criminal fines.
Do You Need Legal Help?
No matter what the criminal offense, all charges are serious. A sound strategy and an aggressive defense are essential for a positive outcome. To protect your rights in such situations, it is highly advisable to retain legal counsel from an experienced criminal defense attorney.
The Prior Law Firm in Bloomington, Illinois, has proven experience in matters of criminal defense. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free consultation. You can reach The Prior Law Firm by phone at (309) 827-4300, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by completing an online form.