Under Illinois DUI state laws if the court can prove that you were under the influence of alcohol and not able to safely able to operate your vehicle, you had a concentration of alcohol in your blood which was 0.08% or higher or you were under the influence of an intoxicating compound or combination of alcohol and drugs you will be charged with driving under the influence or DUI. This will be a criminal offense and will be separate from any administrative penalties that you might face if you either failed the blood alcohol concentration test with a BAC of 0.08% or higher or you refused to submit to a chemical test.
What penalties will I face after a second DUI in Illinois?
If this is your second DUI arrest the first consideration is how long ago was your first DUI conviction? The state of Illinois has a five year look back period so if your second offense is more than five years from your first DUI conviction the courts will not use the first DUI to enhance the penalties of your second DUI, although if you are arrested for a second DUI within 20 years of the first DUI conviction the state may suspend your driver’s license for five years.
So what drunk driving penalties are you facing? You are facing up to one year in jail; five days of jail is required unless it is waived in lieu of community service. You can also face fines up to $2,500. The state may also suspend your vehicle license registration, and if your blood alcohol concentration or BAC is above 0.15% or higher, you may have to pay even higher fines and spend more time in jail.
If you are arrested for a second DUI you also will not be allowed by state statute to negotiate a plea agreement with the state, so it is time to talk to a DUI lawyer who is familiar with the drunk driving laws in Illinois and who can discuss the best course of action for your Illinois drunk driving case.
Will my license be suspended if I am found not guilty of drunk driving?
Like other states, Illinois has instituted administrative penalties enforced by the Department of Motor Vehicles. This means that if an officer asks you to take a chemical test after a drunk driving arrest and you refuse you can have your license immediately suspended.
Illinois DUI laws do not give you the right to consult with a DUI lawyer prior to submitting to the test. The police officer also has the legal authority to decide what type of test they will give you, although you can have a second test of your choosing done afterwards by a medical professional (at your own expense). This required chemical test should not be confused with a preliminary breathing test that the officer may ask you to submit to prior to a DUI arrest to establish probable cause for the arrest.
You do have the legal right to refuse the preliminary breathalyzer test, but the officer may decide to arrest you anyway if they have other evidence that you are intoxicated and then under Illinois Implied Consent Laws the officer would expect you to submit to the chemical test or face an automatic license suspension.