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Illinois DWI Laws

In the state of Illinois, a DUI (driving under the influence) offense means a driver is found driving while drunk or under the influence of drugs. Illinois has an aggressive anti-DUI program and last year more than 50,000 drivers were arrested under the offence of DUI.

Illinois' DUI laws can be understood by reading the Secretary of State's very informative DUI Fact Book.

As per the Illinois driving laws, if your blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or higher, you are legally drunk and it is illegal for you to drive. If you are driving with a BAC between 0.05 and 0.08, you may still be cited for a DUI if your behavior suggests you are impaired. This may be determined by the officer citing you. If the BAC is found to be between 0.05 and 0.08, the Statutory Summary Suspension is not imposed immediately; rather, the penalties are decided and imposed by the court after the proceedings.


Statutory Summary Suspension

If a law enforcement officer stops you and finds out that your BAC is 0.08 or more, your license shall be suspended with immediate effect for a period of 180 days. You will be taken to jail and after the bail procedure is completed, you will be allowed to continue driving and you will be given time to fight the arrest and suspension. The suspension snaps into effect on the 46th day after your arrest. If you are convicted for DUI, your license will be suspended for one year for the first offense. In case your age is less than 21 years, the license suspension shall be for two years.


Consequences of Refusing a Test

The state laws allow you to refuse testing of your blood, breath, or urine. This refusal to allow testing results in severe penalties under the Statutory Summary Suspension law:

In the test if your BAC is found to be above 0.08, the suspension is for 180 days for a first offense and 12 months for a second offense.

If you use your right and refuse the test, the suspension will be for one year for the first time and three years the second time.

Illinois commercial driver's license (CDL) holders face even stiffer penalties.


Ignition Interlock Devices

A Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) is installed on your vehicle if you are convicted first time of a DUI offense. Approximately $100 installation fee and additionally the monthly rental and monitoring fees of about $110 shall be borne by you.

The State of Illinois imposes substantial financial and other penalties on drivers who are convicted of driving drunk. Illinois estimates that the minimum cost of a first DUI conviction is over $14,000. Repeated offences will cause higher expenses and fourth conviction results in:

Lifetime revocation of the driver's license

Up to three years in prison

And fines up to $25,000


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