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What Happens if You Get Multiple DUIs in Illinois

Nobody anticipates getting multiple DUIs in Illinois. Even if you are careful about how much you have to drink before getting behind the wheel, you may be pulled over and find that you are over the legal limit. Drivers can also end up with a DUI in Illinois even if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is below the limit of 0.08 as long as the officer who pulls you over can find evidence that you were impaired while driving. 

Getting arrested and charged with your 2nd or higher subsequent DUI in Illinois can have you facing severe penalties. Consequences for DUIs in Illinois get more serious for each additional offense on your criminal record. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your drunk driving arrest, this could even result in you facing felony charges. 

With all of this being the case, hiring an experienced and talented defense attorney is one of the best things you can do for your case. A qualified attorney may be able to help you reach a favorable outcome for your case and avoid a criminal conviction, as well as help you regain your license after a loss of driving privileges. Contact a Chicago criminal defense lawyer at DUI Lawyers 24/7 to see what legal services we offer and begin building your DUI defense. 

What Happens When You Get a DUI?

Depending upon the circumstances surrounding an arrest for driving under the influence, you could be facing a variety of penalties including fines, jail time, license suspensions, and community service. You may also be required to attend an alcohol addiction rehab center in Illinois. 

If you're convicted of a DUI in Illinois, not only could you be fined but you might also lose your license, suffer from severe financial hardships, and damage your reputation. DUI convictions can be expensive and may impact virtually every aspect of your personal life as well. 

Statutory Summary Suspension Issues

A driver’s license suspension hearing is not the same as a criminal trial, where it must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty. License suspensions are civil cases, meaning the burden of proof is on you in order to win the hearing. License suspension hearings are limited in the number of issues they address, set by Illinois statute 625 ILCS 5/11-501.1, and you may argue your suspension with the following:

  • Did the officer have reasonable cause to stop your car
  • Did the officer read you the warnings to motorists that outline penalties for refusing a breathalyzer test 
  • Were you given notice of the suspension by your arresting officer
  • Did you submit to a chemical test that showed a BAC of 0.08 or higher
  • Did you refuse to submit to a chemical test
  • Were there any issues with due process
  • Were you driving or in physical control of the vehicle in question
  • Were you on a public roadway
toy car ramming into a beer, Multiple DUIs in Illinois

How Does Illinois Define a DUI?

A police officer can stop your vehicle for any number of reasons, even if have had nothing to drink. If you show signs of impairment or commit acts of reckless driving that endanger public safety, such as:

  • Swerving or weaving on the road
  • Crossing over or riding on the centerline or lane markers
  • Making excessively wide turns
  • Nearly hitting another motor vehicle or object
  • Violating the posted speed limit either through excessive speed or driving too slowly
  • Slouching behind the wheel
  • Leaning towards the windshield as if your vision were blurred

If you demonstrate any of the above signs or other bad driving habits and test for alcohol in your system, you may be charged with a DUI. You can also be charged if you meet any of the following:

  • Driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or above if you're 21 or older
  • Driving with any amount of alcohol in your body if you're under 21
  • Driving under the influence of drugs, including prescription drugs or medical marijuana

Following your drunk driving arrest, you may undertake chemical testing to determine your alcohol levels. These levels are some of the strongest evidence against you in a court of law but are also the most common points to break apart the prosecution's case if you have the right DUI lawyer. 

Penalties for Multiple DUI Offenses

A second or third offense for driving under the influence has a far worse effect than a first-time conviction. They can cost you dearly, from requiring prison or jail time to cost you tens of thousands of dollars in fines.

A person’s driving record plays an important role in determining what penalties they will face if caught drinking and driving. Driving drunk carries serious consequences, including jail time and fines, which could affect your job, health, and life negatively.

Consequences of subsequent DUI convictions include:

2nd Offense

This is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by:

  • Up to 1 year in jail
  • Minimum imprisonment of 5 days or 240 hours of community service
  • Revocation of driving privileges
  • Fines of up to $2,500
  • Suspension of vehicle registration

3rd Offense (Aggravated DUI)

This is a Class 4 felony punishable by:

  • 1 to 3 years in prison
  • Revocation of driving privileges
  • Fines of up to $25,000
  • Suspension of vehicle registration

4th Offense (Aggravated DUI)

This is a non-probational Class 2 felony punishable by:

  • 3 to 7 years in prison
  • Revocation of driving privileges
  • Fines of up to $25,000
  • Suspension of vehicle registration

5th Offense (Aggravated DUI)

This is a Class 1 felony punishable by:

  • 4 to 15 years in prison
  • Revocation of driving privileges
  • Fines of up to $25,000
  • Suspension of vehicle registration

6th or Subsequent Offense (Aggravated DUI)

This is a Class X felony punishable by:

  • 6 to 30 years in prison
  • Revocation of driving privileges
  • Fines of up to $25,000
  • Suspension of vehicle registration

Extenuating factors such as an excessively high BAC of 0.16 or higher, the presence of a minor under 16 years old, injuring another person while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or if you knowingly drive a car not covered by liability insurance, you can receive charges in addition to those listed above. 

keys sitting next to an alcoholic beverage, Multiple DUIs in Illinois

The Lookback Period

One of the reasons why it is so easy to get charged with a second or third DUI in Illinois, compared to other states, is because it has no lookback period. Many other states, including Florida, Montana, and North Carolina, include a lookback period to remove a DUI conviction after a certain number of years have passed since the offense was committed.

These states will set a period of time for the lookback period, after which any new DUI convictions will count as a first-time DUI

Illinois, on the other hand, does not recognize or make use of a lookback period. Any new DUI charge considers the entire driving history of the defendant to determine the number of DUI charges they have had in the past. Due to this if a driver commits a new DUI after 30 years, it would still count as a second offense and be punished more severely than the initial conviction. 

Installation of an Ignition Interlock Device

You may apply for a restricted driving license after your license has been suspended in order to retain some of your driving privileges. You will be required to install an ignition interlock device in order to qualify for this permit. You will be required to foot the bill for the installation and maintenance of this device for as long as it is required.

Hire a Local DUI Attorney

You may be facing severe penalties, including license revocation if you're caught driving drunk again after having been convicted previously. Our defense lawyers that the lack of a lookback period in Illinois can make it easier to get a subsequent DUI charge on your criminal record.

If you are facing a DUI charge in Dupage County, Kane County, or McHenry County you will need expert legal counsel to lessen or avoid punishment. An experienced criminal defense attorney at DUI Lawyers 24/7 will be able to provide you with guidance and legal direction to reach the best possible outcome for your case. Contact us today to schedule a no-cost consultation to see how we can help!

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