Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a criminal offense, but the thought of being arrested for the first time may not bother many people. After all, it’s a first-time drunk driving offense, and the legal system is lenient on first-time offenders, right?
Although most states consider first-time drunk driving offenses as misdemeanor offenses, the legal consequences, both short-term and long-term, are severe. If you’re arrested for intoxicated driving, you must recognize not just punishments come with a DUI conviction, but they can have a long-term effect on your life too.
At DUI Lawyers 24/7, our experienced attorneys have helped thousands of DUI offenders in Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, Lake County, McHenry County, and throughout Illinois. To schedule a no-cost initial consultation and learn how we can help you mitigate penalties for a first time DUI, contact our law firm today at 847-999-7616.
Illinois First Offense DUI Laws
Under Illinois drunk driving laws, several types of actions fall under the category of driving while drunk. If you have been charged with your first drunk driving offense in Illinois, law enforcement officials had reason to believe one of the following scenarios apply to you:
- You had a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher.
- You were under the influence of alcohol or drugs to an extent that made it impossible for you to drive your motor vehicle safely.
- You had drugs in your blood or breath or urine because you consumed or illegally used a controlled substance.
- You had an illegal amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in your blood or urine within two hours of driving your vehicle.
Related Content: What to do After a DUI in Illinois
What Happens if I Get My First DUI in Illinois?
It’s crucial to understand you aren’t alone after a DUI arrest. in Illinois, about 35,000 people are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs every year. Although the criminal penalties a first-time offender may face vary based on how your drunk driving case plays out and if your Lake County DUI lawyer gets your drunk driving charges dropped or reduced. Because a first drunk driving offense is a Class A misdemeanor offense in Illinois if a person is arrested and charged with this criminal charge they’ll face a potential jail time of one year and monetary fines of up to $2,500.
Rarely are first-time offenders sentenced to months or a full year in prison. Often, first-time DUI offenders don’t face the maximum fine; however, they must pay a fine of $500. The $500, however, doesn’t include other legal expenses, such as court fees, surcharges, or the cost of court-imposed rehabilitation programs, such as alcohol awareness courses.
Often, you may have to complete substance abuse counseling, but it’s not a mandatory criminal penalty if convicted. If you were transporting a child under the age of 16 years in your motor vehicle, you must pay a minimum fine of $1,000. A first offender whose blood/breath alcohol content was 0.016% or higher must complete a minimum of 100 hours of community service. A first offender who had a minor in their car must complete 25 days of community service in a program that’s beneficial to children.
Apart from the statutory summary suspension discussed above, a first-time DUI offender might be subject to a driver’s license suspension for one year. However, the defendant may apply for a restricted driving permit (RDP) or hardship license to drive to school, medical appointments, work, and/or alcohol or drug treatment. If your license has been suspended for a first-time impaired driving conviction and a statutory summary suspension, you must install a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) in your motor vehicle for the duration of the restricted driving permit.
Learn More: Do You Have to Take a Breathalyzer in Illinois?
Can a DUI be Dismissed in Illinois?
It is possible to get your intoxicated driving case dismissed. This is great news because the drunk driving conviction won’t be on your criminal record. Beating a driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol charge is possible under certain circumstances even if you believed you were sober enough to drive your vehicle, the police officer made a mistake, or the chemical test or breathalyzer results were inaccurate.
Regardless of what your situation is, there are many ways a McHenry County DUI attorney can help you get your DUI case dismissed. Contact our Kane County law office immediately so one of our experienced DUI criminal defense attorneys can take a look at your DUI case and do what’s necessary to get your DUI charges dismissed! To schedule a no-cost initial consultation, contact our criminal defense law firm today at 847-999-7616.
How Can I Get My Driving Privileges Reinstated After a First-Time DUI in Illinois?
After first-time DUI charges in Kane County or throughout Illinois, DUI offenders face a one-year license suspension period. Fortunately, a DUI offender can apply for a restricted driving permit (RDP) or hardship license for important things. A restricted driving permit allows drivers to go to school, work, doctors’ appointments, and substance abuse treatment. First-time offenders who get their driver's license suspended must install a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) as a condition of the temporary driving permit.
The process of getting your driver's license reinstated after a first-time DUI offense has several requirements, including:
- A clean driving record
- If applicable, proof of a drug/alcohol evaluation and treatment
- Completion of a remedial education program about alcohol and drug use
- Proof of financial responsibility or insurance
- Convince the hearing officer that you will not endanger the public if they restore your Illinois driving privileges
- Pay a $500 license reinstatement fee
- Appearance before a Secretary of State hearing officer at a Driver Service facility
- Pay the license application fee and pass written, vision, and driving tests to get a license
Contact Our Top-Rated Chicago DUI Criminal Defense Attorneys for Legal Advice!
Being charged with a DUI criminal charge can affect your life in many ways. It can stay on your record permanently, limit your career progression,and cause serious financial constraints. You must take these DUI criminal charges seriously, even if this is your first offense. At DUI Lawyers 24/7, our knowledgeable Kane County DUI attorneys can help you get your charges dismissed or even reduced. To schedule a no-cost initial consultation, call our law offices today at 847-999-7616.