Chicago DUI Penalties

Updated on 08/11/2023 / Under

Chicago's DUI penalties are harsh and can have long-lasting impacts. Initial consequences involve losing your license, paying a $500 fine, many hours of community service, revocation of driving privileges, and attending alcohol education classes. If your blood alcohol concentration is found to be above the limit your car could also be seized for a maximum of 30 days.

If found guilty of DUI, you may face statutory summary suspension and receive a restricted driving permit or have your license revoked, pay a fine, complete community service, take alcohol and drug risk courses, and more.

To avoid this, it's important not to drink and drive and to keep a clean driving record. But mistakes can happen, if you are facing DUI charges, seek a reputable criminal defense attorney in Chicago to help navigate the legal system. Contact Ktenas Law at (312) 756-8652 to discuss how we can help your case.

Do Penalties Increase With Multiple DUIs?

DUI convictions in Illinois carry serious legal and financial consequences. According to Illinois law, DUI is a criminal offense punishable by jail time, fines, and loss of driver's license.

Chicago DUI defense lawyer Alex Ktenas

A first DUI conviction can result in a jail sentence ranging from one day to one year. Fines may range from $500-$2500. You may also be required to complete a mandatory alcohol course or substance abuse treatment program and pay additional fines.

Repeat DUI charges carry harsher criminal penalties and result in a mandatory minimum six-month suspension of vehicle registration and in some cases, up to two years. An ignition interlock device may be required on your motor vehicle to prevent driving under the influence.

Being charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Chicago can carry serious and costly penalties. It is important to understand your legal rights when facing DUI charges to avoid harsh penalties. 

How Long You Can Lose Your License for a DUI

Not only will you lose your license after a DUI conviction, but some offenders may also be required to install a breath alcohol ignition interlock on their driving record device (breathalyzer) in their vehicle.

The length of license suspension depends on the severity of the offense and whether prior DUI violations have occurred. For first-time offenders, license suspension may last for one year. Repeat violations can result in a 3-7 years suspension or longer.

In Illinois, all drivers are subject to Implied Consent Laws, which means that you must submit to a blood alcohol content breathalyzer test if requested by law enforcement officers. Refusal to take the test will result in an automatic suspension of driving privileges.

car keys a shot of liquor and a gavel on a white desk

DUI is considered a serious offense in Illinois and can result in significant consequences. It is important for those facing DUI charges in Chicago to fully comprehend the repercussions on both their life and on others before taking any action.

Fines for a DUI Conviction

If you are convicted of drunk driving in Chicago, Illinois, you may face a variety of fines. The amount of the fine will depend on several factors including the type and severity of your offense, any prior DUI convictions, and whether or not any other traffic violations were committed during the incident.

The minimum fine for a first-time DUI conviction is $500, but it can be as much as $2,500. Additionally, you may be required to pay court costs and other fees associated with the case. Restitution may be necessary in cases of reckless homicide or if there was damage to property or injury to individuals involved in the incident.

Furthermore, if your license is suspended due to a DUI conviction, then you will likely have to pay a reinstatement fee when your license is returned. Reinstatement fees vary and can range from $50 to $250 depending on the length of your suspension period.

What Can Cause a DUI to Be a Felony?

In Chicago, a DUI charge can be a felony if, under drunk driving laws, certain conditions are met. Generally speaking, the more serious an incident is, the more likely it is to be considered a felony. In general, Illinois law considers a DUI a felony if:

  1. A person has previously been convicted of two or more DUIs within the past 20 years;
  2. The DUI resulted in a serious injury or death;
  3. The DUI involved a minor passenger in the car; or
  4. The driver had a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.16 per milliliter of blood or higher at the time of the arrest.

Individuals who are charged with DUI should seek legal counsel from a criminal defense attorney, such as Ktenas Law, to understand their legal rights and protect themselves from the potential consequences of a conviction.

Penalties for a Felony DUIs

In Illinois, a felony DUI carries significantly harsher criminal charges than a regular DUI. If you receive more than one DUI within a certain time frame, you could be facing felony charges; in such cases, the punishments only become more severe and you will face the maximum penalties.

If a DUI results in a fatality, those found guilty will face much tougher sentences than habitual traffic offenders. Furthermore, these individuals rarely receive the opportunity for probation to be served as part of their sentence.

a judge with a gavel at a judge's bench

Apart from jail or prison sentences, other repercussions come with being convicted of a felony DUI. Some of these include expensive fines and court costs and the statutory summary suspension or revocation of driving privileges that the individual might hold.

The individual might also find it difficult to find employment with a criminal record related to driving under the influence, or if they need a professional license as part of their job description.

Overall, the penalties for receiving multiple DUIs--or even just one particularly serious case--in Illinois can lead to very serious legal issues that require experienced representation and knowledge.

Possible Defenses Against a DUI

If you're facing a DUI charge in Chicago, it's crucial to know your legal rights and options. Even if found guilty, there are strategies to minimize the sentence. DUI charges can sometimes be reduced or even dropped. Conditions such as attending counseling or completing the assigned hours of community service may help. Ktenas Law Firm has experienced DUI defense attorneys who can provide more information on these strategies.

If you're facing a DUI charge, consider hiring a DUI attorney at Ktenas Law. We can represent you and provide legal advice to protect your rights. Our aim is to reduce or drop charges for clients and have extensive knowledge of DUI law. We work towards fair treatment for our clients.

Ktenas Law attorneys are up-to-date on changes to DUI laws and local county sentencing guidelines. We also provide a chart detailing Illinois' specific fines and penalties for DUI convictions.

The dedicated team at Ktenas Law fights tirelessly for our clients to get the best possible outcome when charged with a DUI offense.