First Time DUI
The penalties for a DUI conviction vary based on the circumstances of the arrest and whether there are any prior DUI convictions. The following is a general overview of the potential consequences of a DUI conviction.
First Conviction: Class A misdemeanor (less than one year in county jail), minimum revocation of driving privileges for one year (unless the driver is under the age of 21), suspension of vehicle registration, fines, fees and costs.
• If the driver’s BAC level is .16 or more, in addition to penalties or fines imposed by the court, the driver will also have to pay a mandatory minimum fine of $500 and will have a mandatory minimum of 100 hours of community service.
• If the driver was transporting a child under the age of 16 at the time of the stop, in addition to penalties or fines imposed by the court, then the driver is facing a potential term of imprisonment of up to six months, will have to pay a mandatory minimum fine of $1,000 and complete 25 days of community service in a program benefiting children.
• If the driver was transporting a child under the age of 16, that result in an accident, where the child suffered bodily harm (i.e., aggravated DUI), in addition to any other criminal or administrative sanctions, the driver will also have to pay a mandatory minimum of $2,500 and complete 25 days of community service in a program benefiting children. Keep in mind, if a child is present in the vehicle at the time of the stop, and the stop results in an arrest for DUI, the driver could also face child endangerment charges under 720 ILCS 12C-5.
In addition to the potential consequences listed above, there are other serious ramifications of a DUI conviction that go beyond criminal penalties. For example, a DUI conviction stays on your driving record indefinitely, which affects your driving privileges and auto insurance rates. In some situations, first-time offenders who are eligible for driving relief during the statutory summary suspension period are required to obtain a specific driving permit and have a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device installed in their vehicles. If a first-time offender refuses to install the device, then the individual must refrain from driving, which can affect a person’s ability to work, or to attend school or to care for their family during that timeframe. The stakes are high when facing DUI charges, which is why it is important to consult with a skilled criminal defense attorney who knows how to challenge this type of evidence, and has experience fighting against DUI charges.