A DWI / DUI conviction can have serious and lasting consequences, including future employment prospects, housing, and the ability to get credit. Both first-time offenders and repeat offenders face mandatory fines and penalties. Additionally, there are a host of related offenses that may also be implicated if you are charged with a DUI / DWI.
Under the law, you may be considered to be driving under the influence if you are driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more or if you are impaired due to ingesting illegal or prescription substances. However, even if you have a BAC that is under 0.08, you may still be considered to be under the influence if your driving is negatively affected by drugs or alcohol.
Facing criminal charges can wreak havoc on your life. Protect yourself and your rights with Artinger Law's highly skilled DUI defense practice. If you find yourself in a situation involving a DUI arrest in St. Clair County or surrounding areas, let Artinger Law, LLC fight for you.
Consequences of a DUI Conviction
Illinois law prescribes a mandatory set of penalties for DWI/DUI offenses which include but are not limited to:
Possible Consequences of a First Offense Include:
Possible Consequences of a Second Offense Include:
Possible Consequences of a Third Offense Include:
Listed below are some of the most common questions that people have when they are charged with DUI. If you are facing DUI charges, it is advisable that you contact an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible.
- Will my license be suspended if I get a DUI? Illinois is an “Implied Consent” State and all persons using the public highways are said to have given their consent to submit to chemical testing upon the request of law enforcement. If you refuse a breathalyzer or fail testing, then your license will be suspended.
- How long will my license be suspended? If you failed chemical testing: Six month suspension if you have not had a DUI in the last 5 years; One year suspension if your last DUI was within the last 5 years. If you refused chemical testing: One year suspension if you have not had a DUI in the last 5 years; 3 year suspension if your last DUI was within the last 5 years
- How do I get my license back after a DUI suspension? Just because the suspension period is over does not mean your driver’s license is automatically valid. You must contact the Illinois Secretary of State and pay a reinstatement fee before they will lift the suspension on your license. It is recommended that you pay this fee approximately one month prior to the termination of your suspension to ensure that your license is valid once the suspension has terminated.
- Am I eligible for a permit? For first time offenders who had their license suspended because they refused or failed chemical testing are eligible for a driving permit during the period of suspension. This permit allows you to drive anytime and anywhere as long as you operate a vehicle that is Equipped with a BAIID (Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device). This device requires the driver to submit a breath sample prior to starting their car. The car will only start if the driver has no alcohol in their system. To apply for this permit, you will need to submit a MDDP (Monitoring Device Driving Permit) application to the Secretary of State’s Office. This application will be mailed to you once the Secretary of State has confirmed the suspension on your license.
- Can I fight the suspension of my license? Yes. You may file a petition to rescind the suspension on your license with the Circuit Court within 90 days of when you were given notice of the suspension. After filing this petition, the petitioner is given an opportunity to present legal proof to the court to have the suspension rescinded. If the court believes that police officers did not have probable cause to initiate a traffic stop or effectuate a DUI arrest, or there is a technical defect in the paper work or breath results you might have the suspension of your license rescinded.
- Do I have to take a breathalyzer? Unless you were involved in an accident involving death or great bodily injury to another person, you may refuse a breathalyzer or chemical testing. If you refuse, however, your driver’s license may be subject to a statutory summary suspension. Under Illinois law, the police can only demand that you take a breathalyzer or submit to chemical testing if they have enough probable cause to believe you were driving under the influence. Prior to administering any breathalyzer or chemical testing, police are required to read you warnings listing the consequences of failing or refusing the test.
- What is the difference between a license revocation and a suspension? A license suspension is for a predetermined amount of time. Upon the expiration of the suspension, the driver must simply pay the reinstatement fee to become valid. A revocation is an indefinite suspension of driving privileges. If a driver is revoked, they must have a hearing before a Secretary of State Hearing Officer and be approved before they may regain driving privileges.
- What are field sobriety tests? When a police officer initiates a traffic stop and suspects that the driver is impaired, he may ask that the driver complete a series of sobriety tests. There are three standard field sobriety test that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has developed that police officers use to determine if someone is under the influence of alcohol. These are the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test (HGN), walk and turn test and one leg stand test. During the HGN test, an officer will have the subject follow his finger while he looks for nystagmus (slight shaking) in the subjects eyes. The walk and turn test involves the subject taking 9 heel-to-toe steps on a line, executing a turn and taking 9 steps back. During the one leg stand test, the subject is required to raise one foot 6 inches off the ground for 30 seconds while keeping their hands by their side. During these test, police officers look “clues” that are defined by NHTSA.
- What are non-standard field sobriety tests? Sometimes officers will try to administer sobriety test that are not certified by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Some of these test include alphabet test, number test and finger to nose test. These test are usually administered by conservation officers who may not have access to a flat, dry surface required for conducting the standard field sobriety tests. Since these tests are not certified by NHTSA, their results may not be legally admissible.
- Do I have to do a field sobriety test? You are not required to participate in any field sobriety testing. Often times these tests are not conducted in an environment that is ideal for administering these tests. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requires these test to be conducted in an area with a hard, smooth , flat, dry surface. Usually, police officers will make the subject perform these tests on the side of the road at night while traffic is passing despite the regulations promulgated by NHTSA.
At Artinger Law, LLC we understand that every family is unique and can face very personal concerns. You can trust that our legal professionals will get to know you, your family, and your particular set of circumstances to find the best possible avenue for your family.