Illinois DUI Laws & Penalties

Illinois DUI law code states that it is against the law for any person to drive or operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or any intoxicant with a blood alcohol level of .08% or greater.

Even with a BAC level of .05% or more you may still be arrested in Illinois for driving under the influence if the arresting officer determines that your ability to operate a motor vehicle is impaired due to the fact of alcohol, drugs or an intoxicant.  The officer will make this determination by observing your driving behavior prior to stopping you or by your failing any part of the field sobriety tests (if you submitted to them), plus a number of other observations made by the officer during the stop.



Upon being arrested for DUI with a BAC level of .08% or greater the arresting officer will confiscate your license and issue you a law enforcement sworn report notifying you of a statutory summary suspension of your license.  If your license was valid and not under suspension for any other reason, the officer will issue a receipt that will allow you to drive for 45 days following the date of your arrest.

A statutory summary suspension does not apply to any person arrested for DUI with a BAC level less than .08%, however, any additional evidence against you will determine if any penalties will apply in your case.

Illinois Statutory Summary Suspension Hearing

If you hope to have any chance of retaining your driving privilege following an Illinois DUI arrest you must request a judicial hearing to challenge the suspension of your license within 90 days from the date of the notice that was issued to you by the arresting officer. Only four items will be reviewed at the judicial hearing and they are:

  • Whether or not the arresting officer followed the proper procedures while arresting the driver.
  • Whether or not the arresting officer had probable cause for the arrest.
  • Whether or not the driver refused to submit to or failed to complete the chemical test.
  • Whether or not the driver's blood alcohol level was .08% or greater.

If the court determines that the arresting officer followed procedure and that you were in fact driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or an intoxicant, they will uphold the suspension of your driver's license.  If the court determines that the evidence against you was not sufficient and that you were not driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or an intoxicant, they will reinstate your license.

If you hope to have a successful outcome in your judicial hearing case and retain your driving privileges you will need to hire an Illinois DUI lawyer who has experience when it comes to representing clients at judicial hearings.

Illinois First Offense DUI

A first offense conviction is a Class A misdemeanor and the penalties for a first offense DUI conviction are as follows:

  • Jail time: The maximum jail sentence for a first offense is 1-year.  In the majority of first offense cases, the offender does not serve jail time.
  • Fines: The maximum fines for a first offense conviction are $2,500.  The mandatory minimum fine of $500.
  • Community service: If your BAC level was .16% or greater you will be required to perform a mandatory minimum of 100 hours of community service.  If the first offense was with a child under the age of 16 in the vehicle or the first offense was an aggravated DUI offense, you will have to serve 25 days of community service in a program benefiting children.
  • Test refusal: A chemical test refusal will result in a 1 year license suspension. You will not be able to drive during suspension period.
  • Ignition interlock: If you are granted driving privileges during suspension period, an ignition interlock will be required.
  • License revocation: Your driver's license will be revoked for 1-year for a first offense. First time offenders may be eligible for a monitoring device driving permit (MDDP) which will allow them unrestricted driving privileges after the first 30 days of the revocation period.

    If a first time offender is not eligible for an MDDP, they may apply for a restricted driving permit (RDP) with the Secretary of State's office following the first 30 days of the revocation period.  Any DUI conviction in Illinois is a permanent part of a person's driving record and will not be removed.

    Before the Illinois Secretary of State's Office will reinstate your license or issue you an MDDP or RDP, you will be required to file an SR22 form with the Department of Driver Services showing proof of financial responsibility in the form of a Illinois SR-22 policy.  You will also have to pay a $250 license reinstatement fee to the Secretary of State.

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Illinois Second Offense DUI

A second offense conviction is a Class A misdemeanor and the penalties for a second offense DUI conviction are as follows:

  • Jail time: The maximum jail sentence is up to 1 year in county jail. In a second offense the Judge has the authority to substitute jail time for a probatioary period of up to 2 years.

  • Fines: The maximum fines for a second offense conviction are $2,500. The actual amount of the fines will be at the court's discretion and based upon the circumstances surrounding the offense.  If your BAC reading was .16% or greater you will have to pay an additional mandatory minimum fine of $1,250.

  • Community service: There is a 240 hour mandatory service for high BAC offenders.  If there was a child under 16 in the vehicle there will be a 25 day mandatory required.
  • Test refusal: A chemical test refusal will result in a 3 year license suspension. You will not be able to drive during suspension period.
  • Ignition interlock: If you are granted a restricted permit during suspension period an ignition interlock will be required.
  • License revocation: Your driver's license will be revoked for a minimum of 5-years for a second offense that occurs within 20-years of a first offense conviction. A person convicted of a second offense within 10-years may be eligible for a restricted driving permit. Before the Illinois Secretary of State's Office will reinstate your license or issue you an RDP, you will be required to file an SR22 form with the Department of Driver Services showing proof of financial responsibility in the form of a Illinois SR-22 insurance filing policy.  A repeat offender will also have to pay a $500 license reinstatement fee.

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Illinois Third Offense DUI

A third offense conviction is an aggravated DUI offense, which is a Class 2 felony and the penalties for a third offense DUI conviction are as follows:

  • Jail time: A person convicted of a third offense may face up to 3 to 7-years in jail.  There is a mandatory 90 day jail sentence for those with a high BAC level. You may be granted 4 years probation versus any jail sentence.
  • Fines: The maximum fines for a third offense can be up to $2,500 or as high as $25,000 if a child under 16 was in the vehicle at the time.
  • Community service: 25 days community service if a child under 16 was in the vehicle.
  • Test refusal: A chemical test refusal will result in a 3 year license suspension. You will not be able to drive during suspension period.
  • Ignition interlock: If you are granted a restricted permit during suspension period an ignition interlock will be required.
  • License revocation: Your driver's license will be revoked for a minimum of 10-years for a third offense.  A person convicted of a two or more offenses within 10-years may be eligible for a restricted driving permit. Before the Illinois Secretary of State's Office will reinstate your license or issue you an RDP, you will be required to file an SR22 form with the Department of Driver Services showing proof of financial responsibility in the form of a SR22 insurance policy.  A repeat offender will also have to pay a $500 license reinstatement fee.

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Illinois Fourth Offense DUI

A fourth offense conviction is an aggravated DUI offense, which is a Class 2 felony and the penalties for a fourth offense DUI conviction are as follows:

  • Jail time: A person convicted of a fourth offense may face up to 3 to 7-years in jail.  If your BAC level was .16% or greater you will face a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 90 days.
  • Fines: The maximum fines for a fourth offense can be up to $25,000 whether or not a child under the age of 16 was in the vehicle at the time.  If your BAC level was .16% or greater the mandatory minimum fine is $2,500.
  • Community service: If the fourth offense was with a child under the age of 16 in the vehicle or the second offense was an aggravated DUI offense, you will have to serve 25 days of community service in a program benefiting children.
  • License revocation: Your driver's license will be revoked for life following a fourth offense conviction with no chance of a restricted driving permit.


Penalties for Refusing an Illinois Chemical Test

For failing or failing to complete a chemical test or for a first offense refusal, the arresting officer will issue you a notice of statutory summary suspension and if you had a valid driver's license, the officer will issue you a receipt that will work as your temporary license for the next 45 days, on the 46th day your suspension period will begin.

For a first offense failure or refusal within the past 5-years your license will be suspended for 12-months.  As long as your license was not currently under suspension or your DUI resulted in an accident causing death or bodily injury, you will be able to request a Monitoring Device Driving Permit or (MDDP) after the first 30 days of your suspension period from the court that will allow you unlimited driving privileges for the remainder of your suspension period.

You will also be required to show proof of financial responsibility in the form of an Illinois SR22 insurance policy before you will be granted your MDDP.  You will also be required to have a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) installed before your permit will be issued.

If you are a first time offender and you are not granted an MDDP you may apply for a restricted driving permit (RDP) with the Secretary of State's office.  If you are granted an RDP, you will only be able to drive to and from work or school, court appointed treatment or for medical purposes only.  You will also be required to have a BAIID installed and show proof financial responsibility in the form of Illinois SR22 filing.

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For a second or subsequent failure within the past 5-years your license will be suspended for 1-year and you will not be eligible for an MDDP during the suspension period.  For a second or subsequent refusal within the past 5-years your license will be suspended for 3-years and you will not be eligible for an MDDP during the suspension period.

Illinois DUI Offenses Under 21 Years of Age

Under Illinois 'zero tolerance' law a person under the age of 21 with any trace of alcohol, drugs or an intoxicant in their system will loose their driver's license for a period of 3 months for a first offense as long as they submitted to a chemical test.

If the first time offender refuses a chemical test they will loose their license for 6-months. If a first time offenders BAC level is .08% or greater, their driver's license will be suspended for a minimum of 2-years regardless of whether or not they submitted to a chemical test.  Person's under the age of 21 may be eligible for an MDDP or a RDP following a first offense after a period of the suspension has passed.

A second 'zero tolerance' offense under the age of 21 will result in a 1-year suspension as long as the offender submitted to a chemical test.  If the second time offender refuses a chemical test for a second offense, they will loose their license for 2-years.  If a second time offenders BAC level is .08% or greater, their driver's license will be suspended until they turn 21 or at least 3-years regardless of whether or not they submitted to a chemical test.

Illinois SR22 Requirements

Before the Illinois Secretary of State's Office will reinstate your license following your suspension or revocation period or before issuing you a MDDP or RDP, they will require you to file an SR22 form with the Department of Driver Services before issuing you a new license or permit. You will be required to carry your SR-22 insurance for a period of 3-years.

At anytime during this 3-year period if there is a lapse in your IL SR22 insurancecoverage, your insurance provider is obligated by law to immediately inform the Illinois Department of Driver Services of the lapse.  If a lapse in coverage occurs, the Illinois Department of Driver Services will immediately suspend your license and you will be required to re-file an SR22 form before you will be issued another license.

Since you are going to have to have your SR22 insurance for a period of 3-years, it is important to find the cheapest policy you can before choosing one.  DUI Process has partnered with the largest and most trusted SR22 insurance provider in the state of Illinois and has worked out a special discount only available here for our website visitors.

You won't be able to find a SR22 insurance policy in Illinois for any less. Type in your zip code below so we can provide you with the cheapest rates in your area.

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Other Illinois DUI Resources

  • Illinois First Offense DUI - First offense information including penalties, fines, potential jail time, license suspension, DUI classes, and much more.

  • Illinois SR-22 Insurance Filing - We have compiled everything you need to know about Illinois SR22 insurance and filing requirements including important addresses, phone numbers, etc.

  • Illinois DUI Education Classes - We offer a complete listing of state approved DUI educations classes listed by County.

  • Illinois Bail Bondsmen - Comprehensive list of Illinois bail bond agents including address, phone, website, etc.