What is the Difference Between DUI and Reckless Driving in Illinois?

To preserve safe roadways across the state, Illinois law prohibits driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs. Additionally, even if a person is completely sober, Illinois law also bars people from driving recklessly or dangerously. If convicted for either DUI or reckless driving, Illinois law mandates serious criminal penalties, including but not limited to jail or prison time, fines, and probation.

Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

The Illinois definition of DUI appears in 625 ILCS 5/11-501. A person is guilty of DUI if he or she operates a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or more. It also qualifies as DUI if a person drives dangerously because he or she is:

    Under the influence of alcohol; Under the influence of any intoxicating compound(s); Under the influence of any controlled substance(s); Under the combined influence of alcohol, intoxicating compounds, and/or controlled substances.

Under Illinois law, [...]

What are the Penalties for DUI in Illinois?

It is illegal to drive under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs in Illinois because of the risk of property damage, physical injury, and even death. To deter people from engaging in this type of driving behavior, Illinois law under 625 ILCS 5/11-501 outlines a multifaceted penalty structure for DUI offenses.

Penalties for Standard DUI Offenses

When a person commits DUI in Illinois, a conviction results in certain standard penalties. Generally, Illinois law charges DUI as a Class A misdemeanor and includes the following penalties:

    First Offense: Upon conviction, the offender may face up to 364 days in jail, $2,500 in criminal fines, and a 24-month probationary period; and Second Offense: Upon conviction, the offender is subject to the first-offense penalties and a mandatory minimum of five days in prison or 240 hours of community service.

Furthermore, a DUI conviction in Illinois will result in driver’s license [...]

How to Regain Driving Privileges After an Illinois DUI

After a conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs in Illinois, there is a mandatory period of driver’s license suspension. In the most severe cases, the DUI offender can even have his or her driving privileges revoked indefinitely.

In order to regain driving privileges in Illinois, which is referred to legally as reinstatement, the DUI offender must complete a series of requirements. In general terms, driver’s license reinstatement in Illinois involves the following four steps.

Attend Initial Consultation

The first step toward reinstatement is the initial consultation. This meeting takes place between the DUI offender and an informal hearing officer. The hearing officer reviews the DUI offender’s case file and driving record. Then the hearing officer details all of the documents and requirements necessary for reinstatement.

Satisfy Alcohol and Drug Requirements

For DUI offenders with a suspended or revoked driver’s license, Illinois mandates certain alcohol and [...]

What is the Timeline of a DUI Arrest in Illinois?

Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs is one of the most common criminal offenses in Illinois. Despite the risk of property damage, personal injury, and even death, DUI accidents and arrests still occur regularly throughout Illinois. Although each DUI case is completely unique, there is commonly a three-step timeline for most DUI arrests in Illinois.

Traffic Stop

The first step in a DUI arrest is a traffic stop. In most DUI cases, the police officer observes erratic or unsafe driving and stops the driver to investigate. That being said, an officer may stop a driver for any traffic violation.

After executing a traffic stop, the police officer will ask the driver for:

    Driver’s license or permit; Vehicle registration paperwork; and Proof of automotive insurance.

While interacting with the driver, the police officer will also look for signs of intoxication, including but not limited to bloodshot eyes, dilated [...]