A McClean County judge sentenced a Bloomington-Normal man to 20 years in prison following his 11th conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) In the State of Illinois, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle on the public roadways while you are under the influence of alcohol. 625 ILCS 5/11-501
There is on one-size-fits-all answer to what the consequences of a DUI conviction are. In general, you would be looking at two separate issues, the criminal side of the DUI (fines, jail, probation) and the driver’s license consequences.
A first or second DUI conviction, absent death or serious injury, is a Class A misdemeanor. A Class-A misdemeanor is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500.00 and/or incarceration in the county jail for no more than 364 days. 730 ILCS 5/5-4.5-5.5
A third DUI violation is a Class 4 felony. As the number of DUI violations escalates, the potential punishment does as well. 625 ILCS 5/11-501(d). After a sixth or more DUI conviction, you can be charged with a Class-X felony, with no probation and 6-30 years in prison and up to a $25,000 fine. 730 ILCS 5/5-4.5-25
Many DUI violations also require payment of fees relating to DUI prevention, victim compensation and other politically popular causes. The judge will probably also order you to obtain a drug and alcohol evaluation and complete the drink and driving classes (Driver Risk Education, “DRE”) and alcohol counseling.
You must obtain the evaluation from an agency licensed by the State of Illinois, Department of Human Services, Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse (DASA). DASA has rules as to the minimum number of hours you must complete, and the agency is allowed to increase those hours if it feels the need.
While the rules are somewhat arcane, in general, if you have no previous DUI arrests and you take a breath test and register under .15, your classification would be minimal risk, requiring you to complete a 10-hour DRE course. Title 77 Illinois Administrative Code §2060.101 and Title 92 Illinois Administrative Code §1001.10 and following.
Those same set of rules further provide if you refuse to take a test or register equal to or greater than .15 but less than .20 results and this is your first DUI offense, you must complete the 10-hour course and 12 hours of early intervention alcohol education. If you register .20 or higher and this is your first offense, you are what is known as significant risk and must take the DRE course and 20 hours of alcohol abuse treatment.
Anyone with two DUI arrests must be classified at least significant risk (DRE and 20 hours of counseling). This is true regardless of whether you took a breath test at the time of either offense and regardless of your BAC levels.
If you have 3 DUIS in a period of 10 years, you must complete 75 hours of alcohol counseling. If you have 3 or more dependency symptoms, you must complete 75 hours, and before you can have a driver’s license hearing, you must prove you have not had anything to drink for at least one year and demonstrate that you have a support program, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).
According to 625 ILCS 5/6-205, upon your being convicted of a DUI, the Secretary of State is required to revoke your driver’s license. The Illinois Vehicle Code further provides that following a revocation, you must have a driver’s license hearing with the Illinois Secretary of State. 625 ILCS 5/2-118 and 625 ILCS 5/6-208. The type of driving relief for which you are eligible and when you are eligible for that driving relief depends upon a number of factors.