Are you facing the prospect of a DUI? You could end up facing jail time, community service, license revocation, or at the very least you will face DUI license suspension.
Drunk driving laws in Illinois mandate some type of license suspension. Moreover, you could face jail time if you're a repeat offender, or if you're grossly over BAC levels. Community service is a common punishment as well.
However, it is very rare that you would face prison time. Still, the penalties can be long and severe.
You can alleviate the situation with the help of a DUI lawyer in the St. Charles area who can guide you from beginning to end.
This article will examine how Illinois state law deals with drivers under the influence. Let's explore.
Getting Pulled Over
To be legally drunk in the state, you must have a BAC of .08. This rule applies to non-commercial drivers. For those in the commercial sector, your BAC must be .04 to be legally intoxicated.
The laws are more stringent for minors. Any driver under 21 with a BAC over 0 is legally drunk.
Regardless of your circumstance, you must take a breathalyzer test in Illinois if you're pulled over. If not, you'll get a one-year license suspension as a first-time offender. If you take the test and fail it, an automatic six-month license suspension will apply.
A suspension doesn't mean you cannot drive at all. In most cases, you can obtain a permit to drive in limited circumstances, such as having to go to school, work, and to the grocery store in the St. Charles area. Additionally, you can challenge the suspension in court. To get the best outcome, hire an attorney for further guidance.
Field Sobriety Test
Besides a breathalyzer test, an officer may ask you to submit to other tests. These tests may entail the following:
- Eye test
- Walk and turn test
- One-leg stand test
You're not required to take field sobriety tests. Furthermore, you'll face no license repercussions if you fail the test. If you refuse, however, the officer can still arrest you.
The police can use it as evidence against you. Without a field test on record, your defense attorney will be in a better position to challenge the arrest in court.
The penalties could be harsher if your BAC is over .16. You'll also face tougher penalties if a passenger was under 16. Your criminal history will determine the punishment as well, and you'll face a longer sentence if you've had prior DUI convictions.
Overall, the following DUI penalties will apply if your BAC is .16 or higher:
- First Offense: You may have to perform 100 hours of community service. Additionally, you could face a fine between $500 and $1,000. The court could impose a one-year license suspension.
- Second Offense: You could get five days in jail or 240 hours of community service. Due to the higher BAC involved, you'll spend a two-day minimum in jail. You'll also face a max fine of $2,500, and the state can revoke your license for five years.
- Third Offense: You'll receive a 90-day minimum sentence. The fines can range from $2,500 to $25,000. Your license could undergo a 10-year suspension.
The problem grows more complex if minors are involved. If you're a first-time offender with a minor, you're facing six months in jail on top of the community service requirements.
Moreover, the courts may sentence you to a program that supports children. The court may impose other measures, such as a rehabilitation program if you have a substance abuse problem.
The Restricted Driving Permit
Since these sentences can carry long license suspensions, you may be allowed to drive in a limited capacity until you get your license back, such as for things close to St. Charles. Illinois offers a restricted driving permit (RDP), which allows you to drive to essential places. The essential places could be:
- Medical appointments
The courts permit other essentials as well. Your attorney can guide you through the permit process.
Further, authorities may have you install an ignition interlock device (BAIID) in your car as part of your permit. A BAIID forces you to take a breathalyzer test in your car. The BAIID connects to your ignition. If you pass the test, you can turn on the vehicle.
If not, the device will lock the ignition. You must pay installation fees, monthly fees, and removal fees.
How to Get Your License Back with a St. Charles Attorney
To get your license back, you'll have to pay a $250 reinstatement fee when the suspension term is over. For repeat offenders, the fee is $500. You'll make the payment to the Secretary of State. Your driving record must remain clean as well
Additionally, you may need to submit to a drug evaluation. If there are drugs in your system, the court may sentence you to a treatment program.
Plus, an offender may have to attend a hearing where an officer will determine if you can get your license back. At the hearing, you'll argue that you're no longer a threat to the public.
The process for getting your license can be an arduous journey, which is why a reinstatement lawyer is invaluable. They can make sure you remain on the right course until it's time for reinstatement.
Dealing with Illinois DUI Penalties with a St. Charles DUI Lawyer at Your Side
The best way to deal with Illinois DUI penalties is with an attorney. An experienced attorney can get the charges reduced or dismissed.
Illinois DUI laws can come with mandatory jail time in some cases, especially if you're a repeat offender. The laws carry other punishments, such as community service, rehabilitation treatment, or license suspension. A reinstatement attorney can also help you with driver permits so you can get back on the road sooner.
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