How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Illinois?

Updated on 11/27/2023 / Under

In Illinois, a DUI conviction stays on your permanent driving record permanently. It will not be removed or expunged and will remain part of your criminal history indefinitely.

This means that any potential employer, landlord, insurance agent, or other individual who checks your background can find out about your DUI criminal charge and use it to judge you.

If you have been charged with a DUI in Illinois, it is important to seek assistance from an experienced criminal defense lawyer to build a strong defense in your case.

Call Ktenas Law today at (312) 756-8652 to schedule a free consultation with an award winning Chicago DUI attorney.

How a DUI Impacts Your Criminal Record

A conviction for driving while above the legal alcohol limit in Illinois will have a lifelong impact on your record. This means that the DUI charge will always be visible to employers, educational institutions, insurance companies, and licensing agencies.

Once you have been convicted of a DUI, it is important to understand the severe penalties and repercussions of having a drunk driving convictions criminal record. This includes the potential difficulty of obtaining employment, housing, or financial aid.

an intoxicated man sitting at a bar

Many employers and landlords may be hesitant to hire or rent to someone with a drunk driving felony charges conviction, even if it was years ago. Additionally, having a criminal drunk driving violation record can make it difficult to obtain certain certifications or professional commercial vehicle driver's licenses.

What is Recorded on a Criminal Record?

Drunk driving claims in Illinois will stay on a person's criminal record for life. This means that once convicted, the charge remains indefinitely. Higher-risk drivers with a prior history of illegal blood alcohol concentration levels while driving could lead to harsher penalties such as automatic license suspension for future offenses.

DUI convictions are not the only thing that stays on a criminal record. Other arrests, convictions, and court proceedings related to an individual's criminal history such as reckless driving and traffic infractions can also appear on their record.

Understanding the Lookback Period for DUI Offenses

In Illinois, the DUI lookback period is five years. This means that any drunk driving arrest convictions or suspensions will remain on your driving record during this 5-year lookback period.

It is important to understand this five-year lookback period of time because it affects various aspects of a driver’s life, including insurance premium rates, employment opportunities, and more.

The most severe consequence of having an intoxicated driving charge on your record is the potential for jail time. In Illinois, a first-time drunk driving infraction offense can result in up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.

Repeated drunk driving offenses during the lookback period may lead to stricter consequences, such as increased jail time, mandatory ignition interlock devices, and higher fines.

Potential Consequences of a DUI Charge in Illinois

A DUI conviction in Illinois can have serious consequences. It can stay on your record for years, making it hard to get licenses or jobs. Most DUIs in Illinois stay on your record for at least five years, and it can be longer with prior convictions. A DUI can also result in jail time and expensive fines. It's important to know the consequences so you can make responsible choices about driving.

Jail Time

In Illinois, a drunk driver conviction is considered a criminal offense and stays on as a permanent mark on your criminal record for life. The length of time the DUI conviction remains on your driving record depends on the severity of the offense. Generally, it will remain on your driving record for a 5-year lookback period. If you have multiple DUIs, they may remain visible longer.

a request form to check a person's criminal background

When convicted of a DUI in Illinois, there is a possibility of jail time. The amount of jail time depends on the severity of the offense and whether or not it is a first-time or repeat offense.

For misdemeanor DUIs, first-time offenders can face up to one year in jail, alcohol treatment rehabilitation programs, increased insurance rates or inability to get liability car insurance, revocation of driving privileges, and fines up to $2,500. Potential risks for subsequent DUI offenses are longer jail sentences, license revocation, and higher fines.

Automatic Suspensions & Revocations of Licenses

A DUI conviction in Illinois stays on your record permanently. After 10 years, it may become less visible. When convicted of a DUI, licenses are automatically suspended or revoked. The length of suspension or revocation depends on the offense, ranging from 6 months to 4 years.

For a first-time DUI offense, driving is prohibited for at least 6 months. Regaining the license requires completing court-mandated actions, such as alcohol treatment programs. Some individuals may qualify for a restricted driving permit after completing these steps.

Having a Permanent Criminal Record

In Illinois, a DUI conviction is on your criminal record forever. The charges and jail time stay on your record unless the court expunges them. After serving jail time for a DUI conviction in Illinois, the state keeps a permanent record. Employers or others may access information about the conviction. If you're worried about others finding out, get your record expunged.

What Happens if You Get Multiple DUIs?

A DUI conviction in Illinois stays on your record permanently. The length of time it remains active depends on the severity of the offense and the number of convictions. For first-time offenders, a DUI conviction can stay on your record for up to five years. If you are charged with another traffic violation within this period, the court will consider your prior DUI and could impose harsher penalties.

whiskey, ice cubes, and a car key on a bar

Subsequent offenses can keep a DUI conviction on your record for up to seven years. If you are charged with another traffic violation during this time, the court will consider your prior DUIs and could impose harsher penalties.

How Do Subsequent Offenses Affect DUI Penalties?

In Illinois, a DUI can stay on your record forever. The length of time a DUI affects your criminal record varies by state. In Illinois, DUI consequences get worse with each offense.

  • First-time DUI is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500. 
  • Second-time DUI can lead to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500.
  • A third or subsequent DUI can result in one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $25,000.
  • Three or more DUI convictions in Illinois may lead to a license suspension of up to five years.

Speak to Our Team at Ktenas Law Today!

If you have a DUI charge in Illinois, it's important to know the length of time it stays on your record. The duration depends on the conviction and state laws. Generally, DUI convictions stay on your record for life, but there are ways to reduce or remove the charge.

At Ktenas Law, our experienced criminal defense lawyers can provide legal advice and representation to protect your rights and achieve the best outcome. Contact us now to learn more about our criminal penalties assistance for driving under the influence offenses.