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Illinois DUI Charges Explained


Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol ( 625 ILCS 5/11-501) is a Class A Misdemeanor, which is punishable up to 364 days in jail and a $2,500.00 fine. A conviction for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, DUI, will result in the loss of one’s driving privileges. After a conviction has been rendered for DUI, the sole way to obtain driving relief is to petition the Illinois Secretary of State for reinstatement of driving privileges in a formal hearing, after an alcohol update from a treatment provider.

What Happens Next?

There are a multitude of factors that can be confusing when someone has been given a DUI citation. After one receives a DUI citation, generally, the Illinois Secretary of State then sends the ticket holder a document informing him that he is a First Time Offender.

Well, that is true if the ticket holder has received his first ever DUI in the immediate arrest, accompanied by a Statutory Summary Suspension. However, if the ticket holder has had a prior DUI, the ticket holder may still receive the same suspension notice. The aforementioned action by the Illinois Secretary of State leaves individuals extremely confused. Some even have the false sense of security that the State may have misplaced or lost their prior DUI disposition. In order to clear up the confusion, people must realize that a DUI has two components, the Statutory Summary Suspension and the criminal component.

The First Component

The Statutory Summary Suspension persons receive, informs individuals that the Illinois Secretary of State will suspend ones driver's license on the 46 th day after he fails or refuses a breath test that the arresting officer requests. If one agrees to the breath test, the suspension sentence shall be 6 months. If one refuses the breath test, the suspension sentence is 12 months, assuming the individual is a first time offender, has valid driving privileges and no death or great bodily injury occurred to a victim in the DUI arrest. For Illinois Secretary of State purposes, an individual can be a first time DUI offender with multiple DUI’S depending how remote the previous DUI occurred.

The Second Component

The second component is the criminal case. The State may choose to upgrade one’s DUI to a felony case, depending on a multitude of factors, such as whether one had prior DUI’S, whether one had a valid driver’s license, whether a personal injury occurred, how many prior DUI’S one had or not having insurance. An individual may only receive Court Supervision once in their lifetime for a DUI, regardless if the Statutory Summary Suspension notice suggests otherwise. Assuming one pleads guilty or is found guilty of DUI, a conviction is mandatory, resulting in a REVOCATION of one’s driver’s license, in spite of the Statutory Summary Suspension suggesting the ticket holder is a first time DUI offender.

Have further questions about your DUI charges in Illinois? Call a Peoria DUI attorney from McCall Law Offices, P.C. to obtain legal counsel. Attorney McCall can provide tough defense and knowledgeable advice. Contact the office to request a consultation!

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