Being involved in a DUI offense is often a confusing and troubling one, especially for first-time offenders. You are often left with a lot of questions about what is to be expected or the next move you should make.

Why Were You Arrested?

Drug substances need to be at a certain minimum level in your body while you are in actual physical control’ of your vehicle. When they go beyond that point, you are at the risk of being arrested if stopped by the Police.

You had either of the following before your arrest:

  • You had exceeding blood content of 0.8% and above
  • You had a concentration of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) of 5 nanograms or more in your blood while in control of your vehicle
  • You had been under too much influence of a drug or any other intoxicating substance to a degree of being rendered incapable to drive safely

DUI in Illinois

The first thing you should do after your arrest is to find yourself a good Attorney.

There are usually two cases after an arrest for DUI in Illinois:

  • Criminal charges – these are for DUI charges and other tickets you might have received. You are Innocent until proven Guilty.
  • Suspension of your driving license – which happens automatically 46 days after your arrest. You are, however, entitled to a hearing to fight the suspension of your license. But this must be done within a specific limited period of time.

The Procedure

  • On normal situations, you are presented with a court date that requires your appearance. You are also informed of suspension of your driving license by the State Secretary.
  • You appear on the first day in the court with your DUI attorney who also confirms his presence. Your attorney then requests the pieces of evidence against you.
  • With the prompt help of your attorney, you can be able to file a petition against the suspension of your driving license. If you lose the petition, you may still be eligible to drive with a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID); but after 30 days period of your suspension.
  • Your attorney may be able to present motions and petitions to have your case and charges dropped if he/she finds that there is insufficient evidence supporting your case. The attorney will also advise you on the status of your case and tell you if it’s a winnable one, or whether you should take a plea of a bargain.

How Long Will it Take?

The DUI in Illinois case proceedings takes several months with an average appearance of one time every month. The length is often dependent on whether you choose to fight your case or make a quick plea of agreement.

What Penalties Will You Face?

The penalties may differ depending on how your case turns out. This might be dependent on whether your attorney gets your case charges reduced or dropped.

Licence Suspension

Under the consent of Illinois DUI laws, motorists are deemed to be given consent to chemical tests if there’s a reason to believe the person is under influence of alcohol or other intoxicating compounds.

Under the statutory summary suspension, the secretary of state will automatically suspend the driving license of the DUI offender who fails or refuses to take a chemical testing.

The test is considered failed if:

  • The blood alcohol sample registers over 0.8%.
  • THC presence of more than 5 nanograms per milliliter of blood. Or more than 10 nanograms per milliliter in any other bodily substances.

Presence of any other controlled substance in the person’s blood or other bodily fluids.
It is important to note that drivers who have refused to take this test are not eligible for a monitoring device permit which allows the driver to drive with a BAIID installed vehicle.

Criminal Charges

First time DUI offenders are classified in class A misdemeanor in Illinois.
The convictions may include a maximum fine of $2500 and/or a maximum sentence of a year in jail. The offender might also be imposed with other minimum fines such as

  • $500 fine if the offender’s BAC was above 16%
  • $1000 fine if the offender was carrying an under 16 passenger

Community Service

It will be imposed on a first DUI offender if BAC was 16% or more and includes a minimum of 100 hours service. If the offender had a passenger below 16 years, he/she must finish 25 days service in a community service program that benefits children.

Contact a Specialized DUI Attorney

DUI charges are no joke and it is crucial to get help from the best DUI lawyer available in your town. Your future may depend on it, so make sure you do your research.