Illinois DUI Overview
Definition of Driving Under the Influence
If your blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or higher,it is illegal for you to drive. However, if you are driving with a BAC between 0.05% and 0.08%, you may still be cited for a DUI if your behavior suggests you are impaired.
Unlike being cited for driving with a BAC of 0.08% or above, BACs between 0.05% and 0.08% do not trigger the statutory summary suspension detailed below; the penalties are instead entirely based on the outcome of the court case.
Statutory Summary Suspension
If an officer pulls you over for a moving violation and then determines that your BAC is 0.08% or more, or if you refuse testing, the officer will immediately suspend your license. You will be given a receipt that will allow you to continue driving (after your arrest, time to dry out in jail, bail, and arraignment) for 45 days and allow you time to fight the arrest and suspension. After that, your suspension goes into effect. License Statutory Summary Suspensions for a 1st offense are as follows:
Fail chemical testing: 6 months
Refusal to submit to chemical testing: 12 months.
Administrative Driver's License Revocation
The Illinois Secretary of State will take action against your license if you are charged with a DUI or other serious offense. Based on information the SOS receives from the state's attorney, your license can be revoked and remain revoked until the outcome of your charge is decided. Once your license is revoked you are responsible to fulfill all the criteria of the court and the Secretary of State before your license can be restored. This can include:
Secretary of State Penalties
Driver's license reinstatement fee after revocation: $500.
2nd and subsequent offenses require a formal hearing. Fee: $50.
New driver's license fee: $30.
Proof of financial responsibility.
Drug/alcohol program (if ordered).
Ignition Interlock Device (IID).
IID installation fee: $85
IID per month rental fee: $80
IID per month monitoring fee: $30
In addition to Administrative penalties you will also face stiff criminal penalties.
Driver's license revocation:
21 years old and over: 1 year.
Under 21 years old: 2 years.
Maximum imprisonment: 6 months
Minimum fine: $1,000
Drug and alcohol program.
Motor vehicle registration revocation.
The only way to contest an Administrative driver's license suspension is to request a hearing. Within 90 days of an arrest, the driver can petition the court for a hearing to rescind the suspension and must additionally be provided a hearing within 30 days of filing or on the initial court date. This is a civil matter wherein the burden of proof is on the driver to prove one of four limited elements of improper police procedures.
If the driver is a first time offender, he or she can apply for a MDDP (Monitoring Device Driving Permit) to drive. If granted, a device that measures the blood alcohol concentration of the driver will be installed in the driver’s vehicle. These devices are expensive to install and maintain, and the cost is borne by the driver.
Reinstating You Driver's License
In order to reinstate your license you will need to:
Attend an informal hearing*
For a 1st offense this hearing can be conducted by visiting a hearing officer.
Multiple offenders** must request a hearing in writing and pay the $50 non-refundable filling fee.
Make sure your driving record has been cleared
Completed your alcohol/drug evaluation AND proof of treatment if it was required.
Completed the alcohol/drug remedial education program.
Have and file proof of financial responsibility.
Pay $500 reinstatement fee.
Retake and pass the driver's license exam (written, vision and driving).
Pay the application fee of $30.
*During the hearing you will need to show that public safety will not be endangered if you are allowed to have your driving privileges restored. Your remedial efforts, your driving record and the offense will all be taken into consideration by the hearing officer.
**Multiple offenders must attend a formal hearing in Chicago, Springfield, Mt. Vernon or Joliet.