Illinois DUI Laws
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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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The state of Illinois, like many other states, has strict rules that apply to people who have been caught driving under the influence. Even when a driver has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of less than the .08 percent that is enough to be considered driving under the influence and drivers may still be arrested and convicted if their driving behavior warrants it.
Basic DUI Laws for the State of Illinois
In the state of Illinois a blood alcohol level of .08 percent or more in a driver is considered driving under the influence. In addition, lower blood alcohol levels of .051 percent to .079 percent can be used as admissible evidence in court, even though they are not considered to be under the influence by law. Illinois has the implied consent law, which means drivers consent to a chemical test for blood alcohol levels as part of having a driver license. An arresting officer is required to tell the driver the penalties that will be incurred if they refuse the test, as well as the license suspension period that applies.
DUI Penalties for Driving Under the Influence in Illinois
A driver with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent or higher will receive a 120-day to four-year suspension of their license. Refusing a chemical test results in a six-month to three-year suspension. The conviction for a DUI in Illinois triggers two separate actions, the first being a criminal case and the second being an administrative action by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). A convicted driver is subject to possible jail, alcohol education classes, fines, and a mandatory license suspension. First offenders will have their license suspended automatically for three months. However, they may request a hearing to stop the suspension, and may be able to get a restricted license for medical reasons or work.
Fines for a first or second offender are a maximum of $2,500, and third and subsequent offenders could pay up to a $10,000 maximum fine. Illinois also imposes additional penalties of up to 6 months in jail if a convicted driver has a child under 16 in their car at the time of the arrest, and an additional fine of at least $1,000 will also apply. Jail time is up to one year for first and second offenders with up to three years for third and subsequent offenders.
Additionally the state of Illinois now joins Arizona, Louisiana, and New Mexico in mandating the use of the ignition interlock device for first time DUI offenders. This device requires users to exhale into it each time they start their car, and if there is any alcohol on their breath, the engine will not start. Additionally, there are typically additional breath tests required randomly while the engine is still on, to make sure the driver is the person actually completing the test.
SR-22 Requirements in the State of Illinois
A certificate of financial responsibility, otherwise known as an SR-22, is required in the state of Illinois for drivers who have had a DUI, license revocation or suspension. Once a driver goes through the process of getting SR-22 insurance, they will need to maintain it for three years.
Car Insurance after a DUI in Illinois
Driving under the influence is an incredibly risky behavior, and insurance companies will penalize these types of drivers severely. If convicted of a drunk-driving offense and required to carry SR-22 insurance, a driver will need to maintain a much higher amount of liability coverage than the typical safe driver, and this comes with a corresponding increased price tag as well. In addition, a driver may be required by the court to carry SR-22 insurance even if they do not ultimately get a DUI conviction. This policy must be maintained for the whole three-year period that is required by the state of Illinois. If a driver lets the policy lapse, they will find it extremely difficult to find another company that will insure them, and because of the requirements of the SR-22 certificate, their insurance company is legally obligated to inform the DMV of the policy lapse. The DMV, in turn, will immediately suspend the driver’s license.
In the state of Illinois, the completion of an alcohol program might not always meet the requirements of the DMV. This is just one of many reasons why it is imperative to hire an experienced DUI attorney after a person has been arrested for drunk driving. Some of the other reasons to hire a good DUI attorney are the advantages they will have in defending a driver’s case and either reducing or eliminating the associated fines, penalties, license suspension and jail time. This could have dramatic positive effects on a driver’s ability to get insurance, and to keep the rates down. There are many companies who can provide SR-22 policies. Even though a driver with a DUI on their record is now considered high-risk, it is still advisable for them to request quotes from several different providers as rates may vary widely from one provider to another.
Some of the larger, well-known insurance companies offer SR-22 policies, such as AIS Insurance or Progressive Insurance. Additionally, there are smaller, regional firms such as United Auto Insurance who specialize in offering Illinois and Indiana drivers same-day SR-22 insurance. Accurate Auto Insurance also serves Illinois and promises to offer low rates on SR-22 policies.
However you ultimately find to provide car insurance after a DUI its important to compare as many car insurance companies as you can since auto insurance can be very expensive after any conviction for driving under the influence.