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DUI Penalties in Illinois

Being convicted of driving under the influence in Illinois carries multiple penalties that go beyond the criminal court system. DUI penalties can have a serious strain on your personal life, as well as your wallet. The penalties for a DUI in Illinois will depend on the circumstances of the offense and the number of prior DUI offenses, including the following DUI offenses in Illinois:

If you have been arrested for DUI in Illinois, you may be facing more than a revocation of your driving privileges. The team of DUI defense attorneys at Dolci & Weiland are committed to providing information to those facing such a charge about penalties for convictions of driving under the influence. Following an arrest, the most important step to take is to retain a seasoned DUI defense attorney to help you obtain the best possible outcome in your case.

Drug/Alcohol Evaluation

If you've been charged with driving under the influence in Illinois, there's no way around an alcohol/drug evaluation; such tests are mandatory in order for the sentencing of your charged to occur. This evaluation must also be completed before you are able to regain your driving privileges.

Drug/alcohol evaluations exist so that a person's risk of repeated drunk driving can be assessed in order to determine if that person is a danger to their community. A person undergoing an evaluation must provide a detailed account of his or her alcohol and/or drug usage. In addition to this report, an interview with an evaluator will occur, along with a review of the person's driving history. Based on these factors, the evaluator will determine whether the individual poses a risk of driving under the influence again in the future.

Community Service

A conviction for driving under the influence often subjects the guilty party to community service which is ordered by the court. A second offense of driving under the influence, for example, carries a penalty of 5 days in jail; alternatively, though, a person can undergo 240 hours of community service in lieu of serving jail time. The motive behind a punishment of community service is to allow a person convicted of driving under the influence to avoid time in jail while benefiting citizens of his or her county.

Community service can also be added onto your sentence if special circumstances exist in your case which warrants additional punishment. If you were transporting a minor under the age of 16 in your vehicle when you were arrested for driving under the influence, for example, a conviction of your charge may result in an increase in community service hours imposed upon you. In such a case, the community service that you participate in must benefit children in some way. Community service can also be imposed upon a driver who did not have a valid driver's license or proof of insurance at the time of his or her DUI arrest.

Alcohol/Drug Education

Those who are convicted of DUI in Illinois may also be subject to a drug/alcohol remedial education course. The purpose of this course is to educate people about both the danger of driving under the influence and the impact that drugs and alcohol can have on the individual's health. If you are required to undergo an alcohol/drug education class, the course can be taken online at your own pace, so long as you finish the course within the required time period. Without a certificate showing that you have completed the course, you will be unable to regain your driving privileges.

DUI Fines

Penalties for DUI aren't always just a nuisance; a conviction of driving under the influence in Illinois can also take a substantial toll on your wallet. Fines imposed for conviction of DUI can be tens of thousands of dollars depending on the number of times you have been convicted of DUI in the past.

Ignition Interlock

If you wish to have your driving privileges reinstated following a DUI conviction in Illinois, you will be subject to the installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. These devices ensure that you do not drive under the influence again by requiring you to breathe into the device in order to turn your car on. If your blood alcohol content (BAC) is higher than the limit allowed by the ignition interlock device, the vehicle won't start.

Ignition interlock devices can be a costly punishment' in addition to the cost of the equipment, you must also pay a fee to the county for monitoring of the device, as records of your test results will be sent to the court for review. This means that the court will know if you exceed the device's BAC limit and attempt to drive under the influence again.

Vehicle Impoundment

Once you've been arrested for driving under the influence, something has to be done with your vehicle. If a sober person is a passenger in your car, then they may be able to drive your vehicle home for you; otherwise, your car will likely be towed. Depending on where you live, the administrative fees to have your car released from impoundment after a DUI arrest can be thousands of dollars.

In addition, you will also pay a storage fee for the time that your vehicle spent in impound. For this reason, it's critical to retrieve your vehicle as soon as possible after it has been towed or impounded. If you wait too long to get your vehicle, it can even be sold, leaving you without a car while still on the hook for the fees that you incurred for towing and storage.

Facing a DUI in Illinois? We're Here to Help

If you've been charged with driving under the influence in the state of Illinois, it is critical to seek the help of an experienced attorney as soon as possible. At Dolci & Weiland, our team of DUI defense attorneys is dedicated to providing the legal assistance you need to defend against your charge. Don't wait until it is too late--a DUI conviction can have a serious impact on your future. To speak with a member of our legal team about your charge, fill out an online case evaluation form or call the office nearest to you today--for our DuPage location, call (630) 261-9098, or for our downtown Chicago location, contact (312) 238-9007.