DUI stands for Driving Under the Influence, and it is a serious offense with lasting consequences in the state of Illinois.
1. The Legal BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) Limit For DUI Offenses Is .08%
BAC is a way to measure the amount of alcohol present in someone’s blood. Driving with a BAC of over .08% is illegal, and it results in a charge of DUI.
However, in Illinois, someone with a BAC between .05% and .08% can still be charged with a DUI if the officers think that that the driver is impaired.
For example, if officers pull a driver over because he is swerving in and out of his lane, and he has slurred speech when talking to the officer, he may still be cited with a DUI even if his BAC is .06 (below the legal limit).
2. Refusing A Specimen Test Will Result In License Suspension
By driving in Illinois, drivers impliedly consent to specimen testing. This means that drivers are required to give a blood, urine or breath sample upon request if an officer believes they are driving under the influence.
If a driver refuses to provide a specimen sample after being suspected of driving under the influence, their driver’s license is suspended for a period of 12 months (for a first-time offender).
The length of suspension increases with each subsequent arrest and refusal. The suspension usually begins 45 days after the arrest to allow time to dry out in jail, post bail, attend an arraignment, and to fight the suspension.
If the driver provides a specimen test, but fails it, they will face a suspension period of 6 months.
The cost of having a suspended or revoked license is serious. To contest the suspension, drivers must pay $50 for an administrative hearing.
It is another $500 to reinstate a license, and the state may charge an additional $30 license replacement fee.
More costs are added if the driver is required to take a drug or alcohol course to get their license back. These courses are paid for by the student, and they can cost over $300.
3. DUIs Are A Class “A” Misdemeanor
A first-time DUI is considered a Class “A” Misdemeanor in Illinois, which is the most serious classification of misdemeanor. The punishment for a first time DUI up to one year in jail, up to a $1,000 fine, and other offense-related punishments.
Usually, those without a criminal record who have committed a first-time offense can avoid jail time and receive probation.
However, they will be required to attend drug and alcohol classes, complete community service, face license suspensions, and have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle.
4. Multiple Convictions And Enhancement Factors Can Significantly Increase Penalties
Second or subsequent DUIs result in much higher penalties than first-time DUIs.
The second DUI will result in a 5 year license suspension period, and even if the driver obtains permission from the court to drive on a restricted license, he will be required to have an ignition interlock device during the entire time the license is suspended.
Subsequent offenses also require longer drug and alcohol education courses, heightened fees, and a longer jail and/or probationary period.
Even if the DUI charge is a first-time offense, heavy penalties can still be applied if an accident occurs, if the driver damages any property, if anyone is injured, or if there is a child in the vehicle at the time of the arrest.
These factors significantly increase punishments and will likely cause the driver to face a felony conviction.
5. There Are Many Defenses Available For DUIs
Many people believe that once they are pulled over, the case is closed. It is true that DUIs are a serious charge, but it is definitely not true that there is nothing that can be done to fight back.
Experienced DUI attorneys can review the case to determine whether officers had the right to pull the vehicle over, whether field sobriety and specimen tests were conducted properly, and whether the specimen tests results are accurate.
Even there is strong evidence stacked against the driver, defense attorneys can work to find weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.
Even if the evidence is too strong to fight, a qualified defense attorney can work to get the charges reduced or, if a DUI is inevitable, work to get the charges minimal as possible for the client.
Contact Abdallah Law Today
Those arrested on suspicion of a DUI do not have any time to lose. If you or a loved one has been arrested for a DUI, contact the attorneys at Abdallah Law for a free consultation today at (312)-229-0008 so we can begin working on your case. There is too much at stake to face this charge alone.