Even a first time charge of DUI (Driving Under the Influence) that results in a conviction can have serious consequences. For one thing, there are criminal considerations.
A first conviction for DUI is a Class-A misdemeanor unless there are aggravating circumstances. A Class-A misdemeanor is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500.00 and or up to 364 days in the county jail. 730 ILCS 5/5-4.5-55
However, if your driving record is otherwise relatively clean of accidents, serious tickets such as driving without a license, or leaving the scene or reckless driving, to name a few, most counties and most judges will not ask for substantial jail time if any. It may be different if there was an accident that involved injuries and it will be a felony is someone was killed.
Even if you avoid jail time, a DUI conviction requires the Illinois Secretary of State to revoke your driver’s license for one year for a first time conviction. 625 ILCS 5/6-205 and 6-208 Following the conviction, you must have a driver’s license reinstatement hearing.
Before you can attend such a hearing, you must wait out any hard time on your statutory summary suspension. Once that time has passed, you will need to obtain a Drug and Alcohol Evaluation Uniform Report completed on a form developed jointly by the Secretary of State, the Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse (DASA) and the court system.
The form itself is a computer program. Based upon your driving record, your other alcohol and drug related criminal history and information you provide at an interview with a drug and alcohol evaluator, the program generates a risk classification level for you.
Assuming this is the first DUI arrest you have ever had, your risk level could be minimal, moderate, significant or high. Minimal risk offenders are those who take a breath test, register under .15 and have no abuse or dependency symptoms.
You must complete a 10-hour Driver Risk Education (DRE) course. The purpose of this is to teach you about the dangers of drinking and driving and how to avoid doing so.