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Drunk Driving in Illinois: Implied Consent Theory, DUI Offenses, and Penalties

DrivingIf you’ve been arrested for driving under influence (DUI) in Illinois, it’s important to understand your state laws. If an arresting officer stops you due to suspicious driving behavior, you’ll have to undergo a blood alcohol test. The test may check your breath, urine, or blood and will confirm your exact intoxication level.

The Implied Consent Theory and DUI

Illinois implements the implied consent theory. This means that an individual driving a vehicle in the state has given his unspoken consent to undergo examination for alcohol or drugs if an officer stops them with probable cause in suspicion of DUI. The officer has all the right to choose the test that will be most suitable based on the circumstances.

Illinois DUI laws also require that the officer actually see a potential DUI arrestee driving the vehicle during the arrest, unlike in other states. Noll Law explains that you won’t likely be arrested if you’re merely sleeping in the driver seat of your parked vehicle, regardless of your intoxication level.

DUI Penalties in Illinois

The state has strict rules for minor drivers. In DUI, minor drivers are those under 21 years old — the legal drinking age in Illinois. Minor convictions are dependent on BAC or blood alcohol content. If your BAC reading is between .01% and .08%, you’ll be convicted of DUI, pay a fine up to $2,500, have your license suspended for three months or more, and face possible jail time. In addition, if your BAC reading is above .08%, they can suspend your license for at least two years. Note that repeat DUI offenses will result in more severe penalties.

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If you’re an adult convicted with DUI, your first offense will result in a fine not more than $2,500, at least a year of license suspension, and at least a year in prison. A second DUI offense will result in license suspension for at least five years, community service for 30 days or five days jail time, and one year of prison time. A third DUI offense in Illinois is classified as a Class 2 Felony and results in more severe penalties, which includes a fine of no more than $25,000, loss of driving privileges for at least 10 years, 18 to 30 months of intermittent imprisonment, and possible prison time of up to seven years.

If an official charges you with a DUI, you must get help from experienced lawyers as soon as you’re able to explore your possible defense strategy and if you can get away with lesser penalties.

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