Illinois DUI statistics

Updated on 04/21/2021 / Under

Illinois implemented the 0.08 driving under the influence (DUI) law in July 1997. This DUI law lowered the maximum amount of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) from 0.10 to 0.08. Illinois became the 25th state in the U.S. to implement the DUI law. Today, all 50 states adhere to and enforce this law. In 1997, the death toll of drunk driving-related fatalities was at an alarming 534. As of 2015, that number has barely risen over 300, causing a 43% reduction of drunk driving deaths fatalities in Illinois. While this number may seem large, Illinois DUI statistics have greatly improved in recent years.

Driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs has severe consequences that are emotionally, financially, and physically taxing for any driver. Not only are intoxicated drivers putting their own lives at risk, but other lives as well. If you or a loved one has been with a DUI charge, the experienced DUI criminal defense attorneys at Ktenas Law can help you get your charges reduced or even dismissed. Call our criminal defense law firm today at (312) 756-8652 to schedule a free initial consultation.

Arrests and Fines According to Illinois DUI Statistics

In Illinois, the typical DUI offender is overwhelmingly male. Men represent approximately 75% of the total DUIs. Also, the average DUI offender is 34 years old and DUI offenders aged 35 or less represent approximately 57% of total DUIs. In 2017, in Illinois, police officers arrested 27,046 DUI offenders. Further, most drunk driving arrests were made between 11 pm and 4 am. The average blood alcohol content (BAC) was 0.16, which is twice the legal limit anywhere. Also, 91% of DUI offenders lost their driving privileges and 86% of intoxicated drivers were first-time DUI offenders.

What State has the Highest DUI Rate?

Unfortunately, some drivers still make the terrible decision to drive while drunk. This can lead to severe consequences much more serious than just going to jail. In the United States, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is still a big problem.

Illinois DUI statistics

Since the 1980s, new DUI laws about the minimum legal drinking age reduced alcohol consumption and impaired driving among young adults. However, intoxicated driving still causes too many traffic fatalities every year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) reports 28 people per day still die from drunk driving car accidents. Across the nation, some states are severely affected than others when it comes to the most DUIs. North Dakota has the highest DUI percentage at 5.17 percent, and it also reports the highest rate of binge drinking in the nation.

If we look at drunk driving deaths per 100,000 people, Wyoming tops the list with 7.60 fatalities per 100,000 people

How Many Lives Are Lost Because of Drunk Driving?

Here are more drunk driving statistics across the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • In 2016, 10,497 people died in drunk driving crashes, accounting for 28% of all traffic-related deaths in the U.S.
  • Of the 1,233 traffic deaths among minor children aged 0 to 14 years in 2016, 214 (17%) involved an impaired driver.
  • In 2016, over 1 million drivers were arrested because of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. This is about 1% of the 111 million self-reported episodes of alcohol-intoxicated driving among U.S. adults every year.
  • Other drugs apart from alcohol (legal and illegal) are involved in about 16% of motor vehicle fatalities.

What are the Drunk Driving Penalties in Illinois?

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a crime, and there are severe legal penalties and economic consequences if convicted. It’s essential to note that the DUI criminal charge is prosecuted in criminal court and the Secretary of State’s office administers driver’s license sanctions.

Criminal penalties for drunken driving charges in Illinois vary based on the circumstances of the DUI arrest and DUI conviction. These circumstances might include the driver’s blood alcohol level, the driver’s age, whether the driver was transporting a child under age 16, and whether the driver has previous drunk driving convictions.

In Illinois, non-commercial drivers age 21+ are legally drunk if their blood alcohol level is 0.08 or more. Further, drivers of commercial vehicles are considered legally drunk if their blood alcohol content is 0.04 percent or more. School bus drivers are considered commercial drivers in Illinois.

Further, underage drivers are legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is over 0.00.

Criminal penalties for driving under the influence in Illinois are:

  • A person convicted of DUI is subject to up to one year in prison and must pay a maximum fine of $2,500.
  • For a second DUI conviction within five years of the previous traffic violation, the DUI offender is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 days in prison or 240 hours of community service.
  • For a third or fourth DUI conviction within five years of a previous DUI violation, this is an aggravated drunk driving offense, and the offender is guilty of a class 2 felony offense, punishable by 3-7 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. Criminal penalties are enhanced for a BAC of 0.16 or more.
  • A fifth DUI conviction is a Class 1 felony offense, which is punishable by between 4-15 years in jail and up to $25,000 in fines. Penalties are enhanced for a BAC of 0.16 or greater.
  • A sixth DUI charge is a Class X felony, which is punishable by six to 30 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. Penalties are enhanced for a BAC of 0.16 or more.
A man drinking at a bar with his car keys next to him.

Additional criminal penalties for a DUI charge with a BAC of 0.16 or higher may include:

  • A first-time offender whose BAC was 0.16 or higher is subject to an additional mandatory minimum of 100 hours of community service and a mandatory minimum fine of $500.
  • A person convicted of a second DUI conviction within 10 years of a previous violation whose BAC at the time of the second conviction was 0.16 or more risks an additional mandatory minimum jail term of two days and an additional mandatory minimum fine of $1,250.
  • A person convicted of a third DUI within 20 years of a previous conviction whose BAC at the time of the third DUI conviction was 0.16 or more risks an additional mandatory minimum prison term of 90 days and an additional mandatory minimum fine of $2,500.

Additional criminal penalties for DUI while transporting a young child under 16 years old include:

  • A DUI offender who commits a DUI while transporting a minor under 16 risks an additional fine of up to $1,000, an additional mandatory minimum sentence of 140 hours of community service, which must include 40 hours of service beneficial to children, and an additional two days in jail.
  • A person convicted of DUI will have their driver’s license suspended or revoked. For a first DUI offense, the license revocation period is one year. However, the offender must apply for driver’s license reinstatement after the expiration of the one-year suspension period. The license reinstatement might or might not be granted. However, if the offender’s blood alcohol content was 0.16 or more, the application for license reinstatement can’t be made until two years have elapsed.
  • A DUI offender who is convicted of a second-time DUI within 20 years of the first DUI conviction can’t apply for license reinstatement until after five years have passed.
  • A DUI offender who is convicted of a third DUI within 20 years can’t apply for a driver's license reinstatement hearing until after 10 years have elapsed.
  • A defendant whose driver’s license was revoked for DUI might or might not be eligible to apply for a restricted license because of hardship.
  • A DUI offender who is convicted of a fourth or subsequent DUI conviction can’t apply for a driver’s license reinstatement.

Further, repeat DUI offenders must install an ignition interlock system in their vehicle for a time period deemed appropriate by the Illinois Secretary of State.

Being charged with a drunk driving offense isn’t a laughing matter--it is a serious charge that can cause extensive damage to your life. If you’re facing a DUI charge, you may be subject to expensive fines and could even face jail time. Since of the high stakes, when you’re charged with a DUI, you must contact an experienced Chicago DUI defense attorney as soon as possible. At Ktenas Law, our skilled lawyers can protect your freedom and your right to drive. Call our law offices in DuPage County, Cook County, and Will County today at (312) 756-8652 to set up a free initial consultation or chat with us online to learn how we can help.

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