Repeat DUI Offenses in Chicago

Updated on 10/05/2022 / Under

A DUI conviction can have serious negative impacts on your life. A person may suffer a loss of employment, a loss of reputation, and a loss of community and personal relationships after being convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol. Beyond the personal damages, drunk driving convictions carry serious criminal penalties including loss of driving privileges, jail time,  community service, and hefty fines and court fees. In Chicago, Illinois penalties increase with each subsequent offense.

Penalties can vary greatly depending on the specific set of circumstances. For instance, a cooperative driver will have a less severe sentence than a person who refused to submit to chemical testing. Likewise, aggravated circumstances, such as a high BAC, the presence of a minor, or DUI accidents resulting in bodily injury or death, have additional penalties. Here we review the legal repercussions repeat drunk driving offenders may face. (source: Illinois DUI Fact Book)

Second DUI Conviction Penalties

A second-time DUI offense conviction is considered a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by the following:

  • License Suspension -  A driver who is convicted of a second offense within 20 years of the first conviction will have their license revoked for a minimum of 5 years. They will also have their vehicle registration suspended.
  • Jail Time - A minimum imprisonment of five days or 240 hours of community service. Possible imprisonment of up to one year in jail. 
  • Fines - A maximum fine of $2500
  • Possible mandatory completion of substance abuse programs
  • In certain cases, a second-time offender may be eligible for the breath alcohol ignition interlock device program (BAIIDP) which is a type of restricted driving permit that allows a person to maintain monitored driving privileges. 

Additional crimes may increase the penalties for second-time offenders. Cases with these certain violations are subject to the following penalties in addition to the above criminal and administrative sanctions:

  • Blood Alcohol Concentration higher than 0.16 - mandatory imprisonment of two days and a mandatory minimum fine of $1250
  • If committed while transporting a child under the age of 16 the conviction is considered an aggravated DUI and is classified as a Class 2 felony. This is punishable by a mandatory fine of $5000 and 25 days of community service in a program benefiting children.
man with alcohol and car keys, Repeat DUI Offenses

Third DUI Conviction Penalties

A third DUI offense conviction is considered a Class 2 felony which is punishable by the following:

  • License Suspension - license revocation for a minimum of 10 years as well as suspension of vehicle registration
  • Jail Time - between 3-7 years of time in jail
  • Fines - up to $25,000
  • Possible mandatory completion of substance abuse programs

Additional factors may increase the penalties of third-time offenders. Cases with these certain violations are subject to the following penalties in addition to the above criminal and administrative sanctions:

  • Blood Alcohol Content higher than 0.16 - mandatory 90 days of jail time and a minimum fine of $2500
  • If committed while transporting a child under the age of 16 - a mandatory fine of $25,000 and 25 days of community service in an organization that benefits children
  • DUI with 1 death - imprisonment of 3-14 years and fines up to $25,000
  • DUI with multiple deaths - imprisonment of 6-28 years as well as fines up to $25,000 

Related Content: 10 Ways to Beat a DUI

Fourth DUI Conviction Penalties

A fourth DUI offense conviction is considered a Class 2 felony which is punishable by the following:

  • License Suspension - license revocation for life and suspension of vehicle registration
  • Jail Time - between 3-7 years of prison time
  • Fines - up to $25,000

Additional factors may increase the penalties of fourth-time offenders. Cases with these certain violations are subject to the following penalties in addition to the above criminal and administrative sanctions:

  • Blood Alcohol Level higher than 0.16 - mandatory jail time of 90 days and a minimum fine of $5000
  • If committed while transporting a child under the age of 16 - a mandatory fine of $25,000 and 25 days of community service in an organization that benefits children
  • DUI with 1 death - imprisonment of 3-14 years and fines up to $25,000
  • DUI with multiple deaths - imprisonment of 6-28 years as well as fines up to $25,000
  • Completion of treatment program

As you can see, the specific set of circumstances of your case can greatly impact the outcome. Drug-involved DUI offenses carry the additional penalties of the drug possession crime. There is a wide range of possible sentences. You can see how a DUI can be incredibly expensive if you have multiple offenses.  A strong criminal defense attorney is your best option to lessen the consequences in the event of a conviction. 

FAQ: Can You Be Convicted of a DUI Without a Breathalyzer?

Common DUI Defenses

Even if you are guilty, even if the possible penalties seem inescapable, it's important to not give up hope. An experienced attorney frequently represents cases similar to yours. A defense lawyer practices just that, defense. Their life's work is to develop strategies to help their clients get off the hook. They work hard to lessen charges thereby lessening criminal penalties and in some cases they may be able to get the charges completely dismissed, leaving your life intact and your criminal record untouched. 

Common defense strategies include:

  • Challenging the accuracy of a chemical test - Common substances like mouthwash, medication, and acid reflux can affect the results of a breath test. The lawyer may also question the calibration of a breathalyzer. For blood and urine tests, the defense attorney will look for errors in handling that could have led to contamination or unreliable results in the sample. 
  • Unlawful stop or arrest - A good attorney will closely review the evidence of your arrest to determine if the arresting officer has reasonable suspicion or probable cause. They will also look for errors in your traffic stop or violation of your rights by law enforcement.
  • Necessity - In rare cases, an attorney may make the defense that you had no choice but to get behind the wheel. Perhaps you were escaping someone attempting to cause you harm. This is uncommon but does work in some situations. 

The lawyer will review your case and all evidence against you to determine the best strategy for your defense. Even if there is not a strategy strong enough to dismiss the case, they may be able to negotiate a plea agreement for a lesser charge.

glass of alcohol sitting inside a handcuff, Repeat DUI Offenses

We Are Dedicated To Protecting Your Rights After A Repeat DUI Arrest

At Ktenas Law, we are dedicated to protecting our client's rights through aggressive defense. We have a long history of success due to our extensive experience on both sides of the courtroom. We know the tactics of local law enforcement, the disposition of presiding judges, and the strategies that work best for a variety of cases. Contact us today to begin your free consultation with superior legal representation. 

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