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When a Sentence for a DUI Conviction Effectively Results in Life in Prison

Posted by Dominick R. Dolci | Nov 13, 2019 | 0 Comments

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is serious. A first-time DUI offense may not seem comparatively too consequential, but a second one or third one can add up and lead to heightened penalties. To make matters worse, if you were allegedly driving under the influence and then get into a car accident and someone is injured or die – you can expect serious, life-changing consequences. One Illinois is finding out just how drinking and driving can change your life – and not just his but the lives of others.

According to CBS Chicago, Timothy Vandervere has been sentenced to 32 years in prison. At the age of 40 years old, this sentence basically equates to a life sentence. An Illinois resident, Timothy Vandervere was apparently drunk driving in Wisconsin when he struck another vehicle, killing three and seriously injuring another.

With a prior DUI already under his belt from 2005, the stakes were high if convicted. And he was. He was sentenced 9 years for each vehicular homicide charge and 5 years for the injury by drunk driving charge, all of which is to be served consecutively.

Though Timothy Vandervere was driving drunk and caused the fatal accident in Wisconsin, the same could have easily happened in Illinois. Here's what to expect if you drink and driving and subsequently cause an accident.

What are the Penalties in Illinois for DUI resulting in Great Bodily Harm?

A DUI that results in great bodily harm, permanent disability, or disfigurement in Illinois is a Class 4 felony. A conviction can result in the following:

  • revocation of driving privileges for a minimum of two years;
  • prison between one and three years; and
  • fines of up to $25,000.

The nature and circumstances of the offense will determine the severity of the punishment. If you had a prior DUI already, then you are likely to be sentenced harsher than if you had a clean record.

What are the Penalties in Illinois for DUI resulting in Death?

A DUI resulting in death in Illinois is a Class 2 felony. If convicted of this offense, you can expect the following court-ordered punishment:

  • revocation of driving privileges for a minimum of two years from the effective date of the revocation or from the date of release from prison for this offense;
  • prison between three and seven years; and
  • fines of up to $25,000.

Again, depending on the nature and circumstances of the arrest and any prior criminal activity or DUIs, the sentence will reflect the latter. If you have previously been convicted of a DUI, then you can anticipate harsher sentencing than if you didn't have a prior conviction.

What Should You Do If Charged with an Aggravated DUI in the Greater Chicago Metro Area

So, in Illinois, if you had been convicted of one count of DUI resulting in great bodily harm and three counts of DUI resulting in death, you could face up to 24 years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines. The prison term may be less than what was provided in Wisconsin, but the effect of it is the same: something that feels akin to a life sentence. 

As such, aggravated DUIs are criminal offenses that must be defended against in order to get the best outcome possible. In these cases, the stakes are high. Contact Dolci & Weiland, experienced DUI defense attorneys, today if you face an aggravated DUI charge in DuPage County or the Chicago metro area.

About the Author

Dominick R. Dolci

Managing Partner Dominick R. Dolci focuses his practice on criminal defense litigation and civil litigation. Dom graduated from John Marshall law school in 1990. He began his legal training in the Cook County States Attorneys Office where he worked at 26th and California. He then transferred ...


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