Getting a DUI can bring severe consequences to your life, but it doesn’t compare to the potential punishment of a second DUI. Besides having a criminal record that will last for life, you may be looking at a serious jail time. If you are facing a 2nd DUI you will need legal advice from an aggressive criminal defense attorney in your area.
Despite various awareness campaigns, warnings, and strict penalties for driving under the influence, it remains to be a fairly common offense across the US. About 27,000 people were apprehended by the police in 2017 alone, for driving under the influence. Many choose to get behind the wheel when they’re not physically and mentally fit due to alcohol and other substances, hoping they will avoid getting caught.
The outcomes are rarely pretty. In 2015, more than 300 people died because of car crashes caused by either of the drivers’ alcohol impairment. Though with stricter laws and more vigilance, the number of DUI-related deaths has gone down during the decade, the problem remains persistent.
What Does A DUI Entail?
Driving under the influence, or driving while intoxicated (DWI), are recognized as crimes and offenses across all states in America. It refers to an individual driving or being in control of a motor vehicle while his judgments are impaired due to alcohol consumption or usage of other drugs. In such a state, a driver is unable to comprehend his surroundings and take timely and necessary decisions. Drunk driving often proves fatal to the parties involved and remains the top cause of deaths on the road in the US.
In Illinois, police officers routinely check for alcohol on the driver’s breath, through the breath analyzer. It was ordained a few years ago that anything above a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 in your system can qualify you for a DUI charge. The limit differs from state to state, but Illinois has always been swift and strict when it comes to dealing with drunk and intoxicated drivers.
Either of the following is criteria enough to be charged with DUI.
- with at least a .08% blood alcohol concentration (BAC)
- while under the influence of alcohol
- while under the influence of intoxicating compounds, alcohol, drugs (including medical cannabis), or even a combination of these substances to the extent that the person is unable to drive safely
- with any amount of substance abuse in the person’s urine, blood, or other bodily substance, or
- with a concentration of five nanograms or more of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the blood
What Are The Consequences of a Second DUI?
For most people, the punitive measures of the first DUI or the ugly consequences of their driving under the influence are enough of a lesson for them to attempt anything of the sort again. But some people refuse to learn and make still make the same mistake.
The consequences for your second DUI are far graver than of your first. While you were let off the hook easily for the first time, this time you won’t be so lucky.
The penalties in Illinois include:
- A fine ranging from $2500 to $25000 or more, depending on the circumstances and context of the DUI accident.
- Jail time ranging from a week to a year
- Community service worth ten days to 7 years
- Revocation of the license for 5 years
Rehabilitation may be made mandatory for second-time offenders.
As the number of instances of your DUIs keeps rising, the penalties for your offenses keep getting more serious and stricter. By the time you hit your third DUI, you are considered a regular offender, and your driving rights are permanently taken away from you, along with significant jail time.
How Is Illinois DUI Law Different From Other States
Illinois has significantly stricter DUI laws than many other states of the country. This was intentionally done because the occurrence of DUI accidents and deaths had risen in the past decades so much that drastic laws were necessary. The installation of these laws proceed successfully though, and the DUI rate today in Illinois is much lower due to it.
Besides being stricter than other states, and having an absolute zero-tolerance policy for DUI, there is another factor that makes Illinois stand out. Illinois does NOT have a ‘lookback period,’ which many other states like California do have.
The lookback period specifies the time duration between two consecutive DUI charges for the second one to be considered a second DUI. For example, in California, the lookback period is 10 years. So if a person gets convicted of a DUI for the second time within 10 years, it would count as his second DUI. But if the second offense is after 10 years, it would still count as a first.
Illinois allows no such leniency to its offenders. There is no lookback period in Illinois, meaning that if you are caught driving under the influence even after 50 years of the first one, you will be a second time offender and will be penalized accordingly.
These rules have made even the most reckless offenders drive carefully and soberly in Illinois.
Retain the Help of a DUI Lawyer
If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being behind the wheel while under the influence in Illinois for the second time, it could mean serious trouble for you. Having sound legal advice at your disposal is crucial, and it is strongly advised that you hire a competent lawyer to represent you in court.
Our experienced DUI lawyers routinely handle cases involving driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages and illegal drugs. We have years of experience and knowledge, which they will use to somehow mitigate the damage a DUI conviction can possibly do.
Each DUI case is unique, and there are specific details that can prove useful in court. Before you deem yourself helpless against a criminal case, take a lawyer into the loop and let them see what they can do for you. Call us for an initial consultation and get sound counsel on how to proceed with the case.