When you are arrested for a DUI, there are many possible consequences from the start. When you start to get into territory where it’s not your first DUI, then those consequences can become even more significant in Illinois.
In some respects, your first DUI weighs heavily on the outcome of your second. Those who get their first DUI often have their licenses suspended and court supervision for a time. If the penalties handed down by the courts the first time are successfully completed, then sometimes the conviction will be vacated.
It’s vital to understand that, in Illinois, court supervision is something you can only get once for a DUI. That means a second DUI can result in fewer options for you and the penalties you may face.
Read on to find out about what you can expect to happen if you face DUI charges in Illinois for a second time.
What Is a DUI in Illinois?
In Illinois, any non-commercial driver over the age of 21 is considered legally intoxicated if they have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher. If you drive a vehicle commercially, then that limit is reduced to 0.04 percent. If you are under the age of 21, then any amount greater than zero is considered legally drunk and too impaired to drive.
If you have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.16 or higher, then the penalties for your DUI can be increased and will be subject to mandatory minimums.
Penalties for a Second DUI
When you are charged with a second DUI, you face increased penalties. This can include up to 12 months in jail and the responsibility to pay fines of as much as $2,500. Those aren’t the only consequences, however.
You will be required to undergo mandatory court assessments and face other penalties, such as drug and alcohol treatment, community service, and a requirement to attend a victim impact panel.
Sometimes, a second DUI charge will be a felony, which increases the penalties. You can spend longer in jail and be required to pay fines of as much as $25,000.
What About Your Driver’s License?
Perhaps one of the most significant penalties associated with a second DUI is the suspension of your driver’s license. If you had your first DUI within five years of your second, and you refused a breath test at the scene, then you will have your license suspended for three years. If you had a first DUI in the last five years and the breath test was failed on the second DUI, then your license will be suspended for a period of one year.
If it is taken away for a second DUI, you may be able to get a hardship permit or your license reinstated. However, that requires you to appear at an administrative hearing with the Secretary of State. That process in and of itself is quite complex, and you will need additional resources and an experienced attorney to help you navigate it.
A second DUI can be disruptive to your life in a variety of ways. Even though you may be feeling repentant for a second DUI, that doesn’t mean you deserve inadequate defense. You have rights, so ensure those rights are upheld with the help of an experienced and compassionate attorney who can help you navigate this new set of charges.
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.