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Consequences of DUI Arrest and Conviction

Disclaimer: Each case is unique and has a distinct set of facts. Legal results are highly dependent upon the facts of each case and the applicable law to those facts. A favorable result for one client does not mean that the same result(s) can or will be obtained for you. This material is based upon the typical DUI stop which does not involve an accident or any other allegedly unlawful activity. This is general information and not professional advice from an attorney, which can only be made after you engage the services of an attorney and all the relevant facts of your case are made known to the attorney . The material and opinions given here are not a guaranty, warranty, or promise that a favorable result regarding your case will be achieved.

The Illinois DUI law has harsh penalties regarding license revocation periods and criminal punishment. This outline describes the two ramifications of conviction of DUI. Part I describes the effect on a person’s driver’s license, and Part II describes potential criminal penalties. These ramifications are serious, and the Illinois DUI law is stacked against you. If you are charged with DUI, you have reason to be concerned. You also have reason to be encouraged – our job is to eliminate or substantially reduce your penalties.

PART I – DRIVERS’ LICENSE CONSEQUENCES OF CONVICTION FOR DUI

First Offender

You are a first offender for driver’s license purposes if you have not been convicted or assigned supervision for DUI for five years before the date of the current alleged offense (or, if arrested within five past years, you took the breath test, went to trial, and were found not guilty).

You are a first offender for criminal penalty purposes only if you have never been convicted of or assigned supervision for DUI.

First Offender – License Ramifications:

  • If you took the BAC test and failed – your driver’s license will be suspended for six months.
  • If you refused the BAC test, your driver’s license would be suspended for 12 months. Generally, it still pays to refuse because taking the test makes the State’s prosecution easier and you can be convicted just for blowing over the legal limit (.08 BAC) regardless of how well you were driving AND if you are convicted, your license will not be suspended, it will be REVOKED.
  • If you are convicted of DUI, the Secretary of State will revoke, as opposed to suspending your license, but you will be able to apply for full restoration or a restricted driving permit in order to travel for work right away unless your DUI conviction was your fourth or subsequent.  You need an attorney experienced with hearings with the Secretary of State to complete and submit the required paperwork, advise you on tasks you need to complete and get a good result from your application.  
  • Driving Permit.
    • First Offenders are typically eligible for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP) in the form of a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID). The MDDP allows you to drive during the suspension period.
    • The Secretary of State will issue paperwork (terms and conditions and payment).
    • The BAIID must be installed within 14 days of issuance of a permit by SOS.
    • Things which can make you ineligible for MDDP:
      • if you are under 18 years of age
      • if you had a previous conviction of
        • reckless homicide; or
        • aggravated DUI involving death
      • if there was great bodily harm or death leading to the DUI arrest in this case.
      • The MDDP does not allow you to drive a commercial motor vehicle.
  • Restoration of Full Driving Privileges For First Offenders:
    • Revocation of your license occurs only if you are convicted of DUI. If you receive supervision instead of a conviction, your driving privileges will be restored as follows.
    • The suspension using the MDDP BAIID lasts six months (or 12 months if you refused the breath test).
    • If there is no further driving violation or violation of law, the suspension then ends with a reinstatement of license and removal of the BAIID upon payment of necessary fees to SOS – approximately $250.
    • IMPORTANT: after the MDDP permit expires, and until you receive your license back from the SOS, you are driving on a suspended license.
    • If you do not apply for or receive an MDDP permit, and you are convicted of DUI, the Secretary of State will revoke, as opposed to suspending your license. Then you will have to apply to the Secretary of State and have a formal or informal hearing in order to restore you driver’s license.

Conviction of DUI

If you are convicted of DUI (as opposed to receiving court supervision or being found not guilty), your license will be revoked after the suspension. 625 ILCS 5/11-501.01 states that the SOS “shall revoke the driving privileges of any person convicted,” so the MDDP is revoked once the license is revoked. See also 625 ILCS 5/6-206 (a)(1).

Second & Subsequent Offender (Arrest within past five years for DUI resulting in a conviction or supervision).

  • If you took and failed the BAC test on the current arrest, there would be a minimum 12-month suspension of you driver’s license.
  • If you refused the BAC test on the current arrest, there would be a 3-year suspension of driver’s license. Generally, it still pays to refuse because taking the test makes the State’s prosecution easier and you can be convicted just for blowing over the legal limit (.08 BAC) regardless of how well you were driving AND if you are convicted, your licence will not be suspended, it will be REVOKED.  Then, in order to drive legally, you will be required to apply to the SOS for a restricted driving permit or full reinstatement of your license.
  • No judicial driving permit is available.
  • No MDDP permit is available unless your last DUI conviction was five years or more from the date of your current arrest.
  • Driver’s License Revocation periods:
    • If you are convicted of DUI, your license will be revoked;
    • But unless the conviction is for a fourth DUI, you will be able to apply immediately for full reinstatement or a restricted driving permit to work.  You can apply immediately, but the entire process can take 90 days or more.
    • For a fourth or subsequent violation you may still apply, but not for five years after the date of your last revocation.
    •  Under existing law, the SOS rules, in its sole discretion, whether to issue a permit, fully restore your driver’s license, or do neither. Typically, you will be required to prove that you have been sober for a lengthy period of time as a result of attending AA or other formal or informal support groups. You would also be required to provide several witnesses to that effect who will sign written statements for you, provide an updated alcohol evaluation, and other forms required by the SOS.
    • Often, if it is your second or subsequent DUI conviction, the SOS will not issue a full reinstatement but instead (if it rules in your favor) will require you to install a BAIID (breath ignition interlock device) in your vehicle for a one year period.  If you successfully complete that, then you can apply for full reinstatement, and the chances are that the SOS will fully reinstate your license.  You will have to provide updated paperwork and attend the second hearing.

PART II – CRIMINAL CONSEQUENCES OF CONVICTION FOR DUI

First Offender – Criminal Sentencing

Your ability to legally drive a vehicle is not the only consequence of being convicted of DUI. Serious sentencing ramifications also apply:

First Offense (Class A misdemeanor)

  • Jail possible 1-364 days in County Jail unless Court finds Supervision is appropriate
  • Supervision – up to 2 years (see below)
  • Conditional Discharge – up to 2 years
  • Probation – up to 2 years
  • Fine – Up to $2,500
  • Note: severe enhancement if aggravated DUI (great bodily harm or death), to include 1-12 years imprisonment if great bodily harm caused by DUI, if death caused by DUI, imprisonment of 3-14 years, but if 2 or more deaths caused by DUI, imprisonment of 6 – 28 years.
  • Supervision: First Offenders: Supervision the least harsh punishment
  • Qualification to Be Treated as First Offender – generally
    • No conviction or supervision for DUI ever (not just the last five years)
    • Took BAC test and failed (.08 or higher BAC) or refused to test
    • BAC not more than .16 BAC (2 times legal limit)
    • No one was seriously injured as a result of intoxication
  • The court must find supervision appropriate disposition.
  • Results:
    • Supervision is Not a conviction
    • No imprisonment
    • Fine depends on County – commonly $2,000 total – time is usually given to pay the fine
    • Typically must attend victim impact panel
    • Usually, must secure drug/alcohol assessment within 30 days of sentencing order and comply with recommendations for remedial program or course of treatment within 6 months

Second Offense (Class A misdemeanor):

  • Generally same as First Offense (including severe enhancements for aggravated or death), but
  • No supervision available
  • min. 5 days jail or 240 hrs community service

Third Offense – Class 2 Felony

  • 3-7 years imprisonment
  • No supervision
  • Periodic Imprisonment possible 18-24 months
  • Conditional Discharge – 4 years
  • Probation – 4 years
  • Fine – up to $25,000
  • Same enhancements as above for aggravated DUI or death

Fourth Offense – Class 2 Felony

  • 3-7 years imprisonment
  • No supervision
  • No conditional discharge
  • No probation
  • Fine – up to $25,000
  • Same enhancements as above for aggravated DUI or death
  • Periodic Imprisonment Possible

Fifth Offense – Class 1 Felony

  • 4-15 years imprisonment
  • No Supervision
  • No conditional discharge
  • No probation
  • Fine – up to $25,000
  • Same enhancements as above for aggravated DUI or death
  • Periodic Imprisonment Possible

Sixth Offense – Class X Felony

  • 6-30 years imprisonment
  • No Supervision
  • No conditional discharge
  • No probation
  • Fine – up to $25,000
  • Same enhancements as above for aggravated DUI or death