Like all states, Illinois imposes harsh penalties for driving under the influence. In addition to fines and potential jail time, drivers also have to be concerned about points added to their driver’s license which could prevent them from renewing their license as well as cause the cost of auto insurance to increase dramatically.
Penalties for First Time DUI/DWI Conviction
If you are stopped on Illinois roadways, the first thing you have to remember is that Illinois has an implied consent rule. This means if you refuse a chemical or breath test at the time of an arrest, you could be facing a license suspension of up to one year. You will need to work with a DUI attorney immediately to work on getting your right to drive reinstated. If the charges proceed and you are found guilty of DUI, you could face the following penalties:
- Fines – in many cases, a first time conviction could result in fines of up to $2,500
- Jail – you could face up to one year imprisonment for a first-time conviction
- Driving rights – your right to drive could be suspended for as many as 12 months
Keep in mind, if you are convicted of a DUI the conviction will be on your driving record forever and subsequent convictions can result in even harsher fines, jail time and loss of driving rights.
DUI Defenses Are Possible
It is important to note that just because you have been stopped and charged with a DUI does not mean you will automatically have to plead guilty. In many cases, the machines that are used for breathalyzer tests are improperly calibrated and may give bad results. In addition, certain medications and other dietary issues could potentially result in false positive results.
During 2016, the DUI laws in Illinois will change dramatically. Drivers who are convicted of a DUI for a second time or refuse a BAC will be facing an automatic license suspension and will be ineligible for reinstatement until they have submitted to operating a vehicle for a period of five years with a restricted permit which requires an ignition interlocking device known as BAIID.
If you are facing a DUI charge in Illinois, the most important thing you can do is seek immediate assistance from a qualified DUI attorney. Contact Jacobs & Wang, LLC immediately at 630-712-9264 if you are facing Illinois DUI charges.