Illinois Drunk Driving Laws

When is a Driver Considered to be Legally Drunk in Illinois?

  • Non-commercial drivers age 21+ are considered legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is .08 or more.
  • Drivers of commercial vehicles are legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is .04 percent or greater. In Illinois, school bus drivers are commercial drivers.
  • Drivers 21 and under are legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is greater than zero.

Penalties for Drunk Driving in Illinois

  • Any person convicted of DUI faces up to one year in prison and is subject to pay a fine of up to $2,500.
  • For a second conviction within five years of the previous violation, the offender must serve a mandatory minimum of 5 days in prison or 240 hours of community service.
  • In the case of a third or fourth violation within five years of a previous violation, the offender has committed the offense of aggravated driving and is guilty of a class 2 felony, punishable by between three and seven years imprisonment and up to $25,000 in fines. Penalties are increased for a BAC of .16 or higher.
  • A fifth violation is a Class 1 felony punishable by between 4 and 15 years imprisonment and up to $25,000 in fines. Penalties are increased for a BAC of .16 or higher.
  • A six violation is a Class X felony punishable by between 6 and 30 years and up to $25,000 in fines. Penalties are increased for a BAC of .16 or higher.

Additional Penalties for DUI with a BAC of .16 or More

  • Any person convicted of a first DUI whose BAC was .16 or more is subject an additional mandatory minimum fine of $500 and a mandatory minimum of 100 hours of community service.
  • Any person convicted of a second DUI within 10 years of a previous violation whose BAC at the time of the second violation was .16 or more is subject to an additional mandatory minimum prison term of two days and an additional mandatory minimum fine of $1,250.
  • A person convicted of a third DUI within 20 years of a previous violation whose BAC at the time of the third violation was .16 or more is subject to an additional mandatory minimum of 90 days in prison and an additional mandatory minimum fine of $2,500.

Additional Penalties for DUI while Transporting a Child Under 16

A person who commits a DUI while transporting a child under 16 is subject to an additional mandatory minimum fine of $1,000, an additional mandatory minimum 140 hours of community service, which must include 40 hours of service benefiting children, and an additional two days in prison.

Driver’s License Revocation Periods

  • Any person who is convicted of DUI will have his or her driver’s license revoked. Generally, for a first offense, the revocation period is one year. The offender, however, must apply for a reinstatement after the expiration of one year. The reinstatement may or may not be granted. If, however, the offender’s BAC was .16 or greater, application for reinstatement cannot be made until two years have passed.
  • A person who is convicted of a second DUI within 20 years of the first conviction may not make application for a reinstated license until after the expiration of five years.
  • A person who is convicted of a third DUI within 20 years may not make application for a reinstated license until after the expiration of 10 years.
  • A person whose license was revoked for DUI may or may not be eligible to apply for a restricted license due to hardship.
  • A person who is convicted of a fourth of subsequent DUI may not apply for a reinstated license.

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Ignition Interlock

Repeat offenders are required to use an ignition interlock system for a time period deemed appropriate by the Secretary of State of Illinois.

Commercial Drivers

In addition to other penalties associated with Illinois’ DUI laws, a commercial driver who is convicted of DUI while operating any vehicle will be disqualified from driving a commercial vehicle for at least one year. If, however, the offender was driving a commercial vehicle and transporting hazardous materials at the time, the disqualification period is at least three years. If a commercial driver commits a second DUI while driving any vehicle, the offender will be disqualified from driving a commercial vehicle for life, which may or may not be reduced to a period of not less than 10 years.

School Bus Drivers

In addition to other penalties that may be imposed under Illinois’ DUI laws, a school bus driver who commits a DUI while driving a school bus with a person 18 or under in the bus at the time of the violation will be guilty of aggravated DUI. A person who is convicted of aggravated DUI faces one to three years in prison and is subject to pay a fine of up to $25,000.

Drivers Under 21

In addition to other penalties that may apply, an underage driver who commits DUI will have a one year license suspension and may be ordered to participate in Illinois’ Youthful Intoxicated Drivers’ Visitation Program. This program consists of supervised visitation at a variety of facilities, including a state or private rehabilitation facility that cares for motor vehicle accident victims injured by drunk drivers, a facility that cares for advanced alcoholics so that the minor can observe persons in terminal stages of alcoholism, and a county morgue so that the minor can observe victims of drunk drivers.

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What is Illinois’ “Cause of Action Against Seller for Injury by Intoxicated Person” Statute?

Under this statute, every person who is injured by an intoxicated person has a right of action against the licensed drinking establishment that sold the alcohol that caused the intoxication. This statute, however, does not permit the intoxicated person to bring an action for injuries that were caused by his own intoxication.

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Criminal Penalties for Selling or Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor

It is a crime to sell or furnish alcohol to a person under 21. A violation of this statute subjects the offender to up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $2,500. If, however, a death occurs as a result of a violation of this statute, the person who sold or furnished the alcohol faces one to three years in prison and is subject to pay a fine of up to $25,000 in the case of an individual, and up to $50,000 in the case of a corporation.

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Criminal Penalties for Permitting a Minor to Drink Alcohol

Anyone who knowingly permits a gathering at their residence where one or more persons under 21 are consuming alcohol faces up to one year in prison and is subject to pay a fine of up to $2,500.

Need more information on state laws? Learn more about the laws where you live.

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Note: Our attorneys are licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, and Virginia. This information is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia, although if you are injured in an accident, we have relationships with other personal injury attorneys and lawyers throughout the United States.

Please note: All of our lawyers are licensed to practice in the state of Pennsylvania. We also have lawyers licensed to practice in Ohio, and West Virginia and we associate with experienced attorneys in other states.

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