The consequences for DUI in Illinois are serious. You could find yourself paying thousands of dollars just for one drive home. Worse, these costs don’t even begin to cover the possible jail time and other consequences of drinking and driving.
Case-in-point: a woman in Glendale Heights is facing up to 15 years behind bars for a DUI charge.
15 Years? For One DUI Charge?
On June 12, law enforcement found two women in a car that had rolled over in a single-vehicle crash early in the morning. The two women, both in their 40s, had sustained minor injuries. The only damage done was to the driver’s car.
The driver refused a chemical test, and law enforcement found that she had been driving without a license. Police believe that she was intoxicated behind the wheel.
She now faces a slew of charges, including failure to carry adequate insurance and driving without a license. However, the most severe charge is certainly DUI — and she faces 15 years behind bars without any chance of probation.
Why? This is the woman’s fifth DUI charge.
Aggravated DUI Charges in Illinois
Many crimes in Illinois are broken down into two categories: “simple” and “aggravated” offenses. Aggravated offenses are much more serious, and often come with more severe penalties.
A person commits aggravated DUI in Illinois if:
- They have more than two DUI convictions on their record already
- Their blood alcohol content is over .16%
- They had a passenger under the age of 16 in the car
- The DUI resulted in injuries or death
- The driver didn’t possess a license, permit, or liability insurance
- The driver was in a school zone or driving a school bus with passengers
These are all felony offenses. Felony convictions come with additional penalties in Illinois, including the loss of the right to bear arms. Felons also cannot vote while in custody. All of these felony offenses are subject to a $25,000 fine, continuing to pile on penalties for drinking and driving.
Penalties for a Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth DUI
Your first two DUIs may be misdemeanors. Once you hit a third DUI, though, you’re facing felony charges.
A third or fourth DUI charge in Illinois is a Class 2 felony. Penalties include 3-7 years behind bars. One you reach a fourth DUI charge, you cannot be put on probation.
A fifth DUI charge is a Class 1 felony. Penalties include 4-15 years behind bars.
A sixth DUI charge is a Class X felony, the most serious type of crime in the state of Illinois. Penalties include 6-30 years behind bars, with the possibility of getting the sentence extended.
Want to Avoid Felony DUI Charges? Fight All of Your DUI Charges
A charge is not a conviction. If you are charged with a DUI, but that charge is thrown out or you are found not guilty, it won’t be used against you if you are charged for another DUI later in life.
The woman in Glendale Heights was convicted of DUIs in 1998, 1999, and 2000. Even the most recent one is 20 years ago, but these DUIs are still being used against her.
Don’t let DUIs come back to haunt you. A felony charge today could follow you for the rest of your life. Fight back against all DUI charges to increase your chances of preventing felony charges later in life.
About the Author
Sami Azhari has been working as a lawyer since 2007, after receiving his Juris Doctor from the Michigan State University College of Law. He has handled numerous state and federal cases, and is known throughout the Chicago and Rolling Meadows area for providing his clients with high-quality, skilled representation. He has been recognized by Avvo (2013 and 2018), SuperLawyers (2015-2020), The National Trial Lawyers, and other notable organizations, and has spoken at a number of legal conferences.