Illinois law makes Driving Under the Influence (DUI) illegal. 625 ILCS 5/11-500 (a) lists six different types of DUI with which you can be charged.
The most common are DUI-1 and 2. DUI-2 is driving under the influence of alcohol.
You can also be charged with DUI-3, (under the influence of any intoxicating compound or compounds, generally this refers to “huffing”), DUI-4 (under the influence of any other drug, including prescription medications, if they impair your driving, even if taken in prescribed doses) or DUI-5 (under the combined influence of alcohol, intoxicating compounds or any other drugs).
In essence, these laws make it illegal to drive after putting something in your body that impairs your driving ability. DUI-1 and DUI-6 are different than the others.
DUI-1 requires the state to prove nothing more than that you were in “actual physical control” of a motor vehicle at a time that your blood alcohol content was .08 or greater. No proof of actual impairment is needed. It is illegal to drive in Illinois with this blood alcohol level. Period. People v. Ziltz, 98 Ill. 2d 38, 74 Ill. Dec. 40, 455 N.E.2d 70 (1983)
DUI-6 only requires the police to prove that there was any amount of a prohibited substance (think marijuana, any other street drug, meth, designer drugs) in your “blood, breath or urine” regardless of the lack of any evidence of impairment. The Illinois Supreme Court has found this to be in compliance with the constitution, despite the fact there may be no evidence of bad driving (most of the time, these charges are brought after an accident that may not have even been your fault, or even if your fault, had nothing to do with the drugs you took days earlier that are still in your system). People v. Fate, 159 Ill. 2d 267, 201 Ill. Dec. 117, 636 N.E.2d 549 (1994); People. v. Martin, 2011 IL 109102
Because DUI is against the law, it is a crime and as such, anyone convicted of that offense is subject to various criminal penalties. However, some people who are guilty of DUI can avoid a conviction if they are granted court supervision.
A first time DUI offender is eligible for court supervision. If you have ever had supervision in your lifetime, or you if have ever been convicted of DUI or of reckless driving as a result of a plea bargain, you are no longer eligible for supervision. 730 ILCS 5/5-6-3.1(f)
Supervision is not automatic, however, even to those who are eligible for it. The final decision is up to the judge, and in determining whether to grant supervision, the judge must consider the recommendation of the prosecutor. People v. Price, 247 Ill. App. 3d 787, 187 Ill. Dec. 452, 617 N.E.2d 909 (4 Dist.), cert. denied, 153 Ill. 2d 567, 191 Ill. Dec. 626, 624 N.E.2d 814 (1993)
A supervision disposition has some significant advantages. One of them is that the judge cannot sentence you to any jail time in connection with a supervision disposition.
You can be placed on up to two years of court supervision. The judge can impose various conditions upon you, such as obtaining a drug and alcohol evaluation, completing any recommended remedial measures such as treatment and driver risk education, attend a MADD victim impact panel, refrain from the consumption of alcohol or any drugs and not violate any other laws. 730 ILCS 5/5-6-3.1 Provided you comply with all the requirements of your supervision order, you will avoid a DUI conviction, although the fact you were granted supervision will be noted on your permanent driving record.
Avoiding a conviction for DUI means that your driver’s license will not be revoked. As a result, you will not be required to have a driver’s license hearing with the Illinois Secretary of State.
On the other hand, if you are not eligible for supervision or if the judge does not consider you to be a suitable candidate for it, you will be convicted of a crime. For a first or second offender, DUI is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to 364 days in the county jail and/or a fine of up to $2500. Probation is available.
As the prior DUIS mount, so do the possible penalties. Thus a Springfield man with six DUI convictions is guilty of a Class X felony, for which he cannot receive probation and will be sentenced to 6-30 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $25,000.00. 625 ILCS 5/11-501(d)(2)(E)