Illinois DUI sentencing laws change on an almost yearly basis. The reasons are primarily two-fold:
- Public attitudes towards DUI continue to strengthen;
- Our state representatives in Springfield find DUI to be an 'irresistible legislative target' for which there is very little, if any, political downside when they choose to toughen these laws.
Due to the annual legislative rush to appear tough on DUI, until two years ago, Illinois was left with a patchwork quilt of inconsistent DUI laws. At one point, the Illinois Vehicle Code had six different versions of the same DUI law due to the fact that the various versions could not be reconciled with each other.
Finally, in 2008, the Illinois legislature resolved these inconsistencies and passed new DUI legislation, which became effective June 1, 2008. The law provides for penalties covering a multitude of different types of DUI offenses depending on such factors as the number of prior offenses, BAC level, whether a child was present in the vehicle, whether there was an accident with death or personal injury, whether the person had a valid license or insurance, and whether the person was already suspended or revoked for a prior DUI or summary suspension.
Below are some of the most common types of these DUI offenses and penalties:
|DUI OFFENSE||FIRST||SECOND||THIRD||FOURTH||FIFTH||SIXTH OR SUBSEQUENT|
|Class of Offense||Class A|
|Jail / Imprisonment||1-364|
Days - mand. min. of 5 days jail or 240 hrs. comm. serv. (c)(2)
|3-7 years||3-7 years||4-15 years||6-30 years|
|Periodic Imprisonment||Up to 12 months||Up to 12 months||18-30 months||18-30 months||3-4 years||None|
|Supervision||Up to 2 years||None||None||None||None||None|
|Conditional Discharge||Up to 2 years||Up to 2 years||Up to 4 years||None||None||None|
|Probation||Up to 2 years||Up to 2 years||Up to 4 years||None||None||None|
|Fine||Up to $2,500.00||Up to $2,500.00||Up to $25,000.00||Up to $25,000.00||Up to $25,000.00||Up to $25,000.00|
One of the most significant changes/clarifications that the new law provided was that a third DUI may be charged as a Class 2 felony (3-7 years). Under the previous laws there was some confusion whether a third DUI was a Class 4 felony (1-3) years or a Class 2 felony. The more serious penalty now clearly applies.
In some cases, just a second DUI may be charged as a felony! For example, if the second DUI occurs while transporting a child under the age of 16, it is a Class 2 felony. If the second DUI occurs when the person was already suspended for DUI, did not have a valid driver's license or permit or did not have liability insurance, it is a Class 4 felony.
As was mentioned above, these laws continue to change on an almost annual basis. The information provided here is only designed to be informative in nature and cannot take the place of the advice of a competent Illinois lawyer based on a person's specific legal situation.
Feel free to explore our website and contact us with any questions. Our office handles these cases throughout Cook, Lake, DuPage, Kane, McHenry and Will Counties. If you seek skilled representation on a DUI or other criminal offense, we look forward to hearing from you.