Illinois First Offense DUI

Illinois First Offense DUI Laws Explained in Easy to Understand Simple Terms

A first offense DUI arrest in Illinois is without a doubt a traumatic experience for anyone and will result in an array of penalties. When arrested for a first offense DUI you will be facing two separate cases. The first case is the criminal aspect of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, which will be handled through the Illinois criminal court system. The second case is the administrative aspect, or driver’s license suspension for driving under the influence with a BAC level of .08% or greater.

Illinois DUI First Offense Penalties

An Illinois first offense DUI is a Class A Misdemeanor offense. First time offender’s may face up to a maximum of 1-year in jail, there is no set minimum jail sentence. A fine of up to $2,500 plus court costs. A driver’s license revocation period 1-year.

Following your revocation period you will be required to file an SR22 insurance form with the DMV before they will reinstate your license. 

For first time offenders who registered a BAC of .16% or greater, in addition to any other penalties there will be a mandatory minimum fine of $500, plus a mandatory minimum of 100 hours of community service. If there was a child under the age of 16 in the vehicle at the time you face up to 6 months in jail, a mandatory minimum fine of $1,000, plus 25 days of community service.

If there was a child under 16 in the vehicle and there was a crash resulting in bodily harm to the child you will be charged with Aggravated DUI, which is a Class 4 Felony. The possible jail sentence is 1 to 3 years and a fine of up to $25,000, on top of any other criminal charges.

  • BAC levels of .001% to .05% are not considered under the influence
  • BAC levels of .051% to .079% is not presumed to be under the influence, but is admissible as evidence in court
  • BAC levels of .08% or greater is considered to be under the influence

Illinois Judicial Driver’s License Hearing

Upon being arrested on a first offense DUI charge in Illinois the arresting officer will confiscate the offender’s driver’s license and issue the offender a temporary permit that will allow you to drive for up to 45 days from the date of the arrest. On the 46th day the driver’s license suspension period will begin.

Important: In order to challenge the pending suspension of your driver’s license you must schedule a judicial hearing review as soon as possible following your arrest. If a judicial hearing sounds like a court hearing, you are correct. Your statutory summary suspension case will be heard by an Illinois State Judge. That is why it is very important that you contact our Illinois DUI lawyers today. Our lawyers are very experienced when it comes to representing clients at judicial hearings and in criminal court.

The only items that will be heard and considered at a judicial hearing are whether or not the officer followed the proper procedures during the arrest? Was there reasonable grounds for the officer’s arrest of the individual? Did the driver refuse to submit to a chemical test after being informed of the pending suspension for refusal? Did the driver submit to a chemical test that resulted in a BAC reading of .08% or greater?

The Judge will also hear testimony from the arresting officer regarding the above matters and will review all of the evidence presented by the arresting officer against the defendant. The Judge will then hear testimony from you and your lawyer and review any evidence you present in your favor that refutes the evidence against you.

After hearing all the testimonies and reviewing the evidence the Judge will make his final decision regarding the statutory suspension of your driver’s license. If the court rules in your favor, your driver’s license will be returned to you and your driving record will be cleared of the DUI arrest. If the court rules that the suspension is valid, the suspension period will go into effect immediately.

The state of Illinois may issue a restricted driving permit to first time DUI offenders if the defendant can prove to the court that they have no other means of transportation. A restricted driving permit will only allow a person to drive to and from work, to and from school, and for medical purposes.

Illinois Restricted Driving Permit & SR22 Insurance Information

As a condition of being granted a restricted driving permit the court may require you have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle during your restricted driving period, and possibly longer. Before you will be issued a restricted driving permit you will be required to provide the Secretary of State’s office with proof of financial responsibility in the form of an SR-22 insurance filing with the state.

The state of Illinois will require you to maintain your SR-22 filing with them for a period of 3-years from the date of being issued a restricted permit or from the date of license reinstatement following your revocation period. You will be required to keep your SR-22 on file with the Illinois Secretary of State’s office for a period of 3-years.

If at anytime during your 3-year filing period if you experience a lapse in insurance coverage the state will cancel your driver’s license and you will need to file another SR-22 form with them before you will be issued another license. So it is in your best interest to get multiple Illinois SR22 insurance quotes so that you may make an informed decision and make sure you are paying the lowest rates possible.

Additional Illinois DUI Resources
  • Illinois DUI First Offense – Detailed first offense information including punishments after a first offense DUI in Illinois.
  • Illinois DUI Classes – Get signed up to complete your required DUI class online today.
  • Illinois SR22 Insurance – Learn everything you need to know about Illinois SR22 filing requirements with the DMV and find out how you can save hundreds of dollars each year on your Illinois SR22 insurance.
  • Illinois DUI Lawyers – Contact one of our Illinois DUI lawyers today to discuss your pending DUI case.
  • Illinois Bail Bond Agents – Contact an Illinois bail bond agent to get out of jail now.
  • Illinois Non-owner Insurance – If you need an SR-22 filing, but don’t own a vehicle, you need to get a non-owner policy.