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What are the possible consequences of three Illinois DUI arrests?

In the news is a Springfield firefighter arrested for a third Illinois DUI. With a third DUI, the Captain faces some serious criminal and driver’s license issues.

For the driver’s license issues, you have to have more information beyond the fact this is the third arrest for DUI (Driving Under the Influence). Illinois driver’s license law provides that a person with three DUI convictions will suffer a driver’s license revocation for ten years. 625 ILCS 5/6-208

However, supervision is not a conviction 730 ILCS 5/5-6-1. (d). Therefore, for the purpose of determining how long you are revoked, do not include any DUI supervision dispositions, any DUI dismissals or any DUI tickets that result in a reduction in the charge to something such as reckless driving.

A DUI revocation does not mean you cannot drive for ten years. If you are able to demonstrate that not being able to drive is causing “undue hardship”, you may, after the first year of a revocation, apply for a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP) unless your previous DUI was less than five years ago and your license is suspended under the statutory summary suspension laws.

A statutory summary suspension happens when you are asked to take a breath (or blood) test and refuse to do so, or take the test and register .08 or higher. The suspension for refusing is much longer than for blowing over .08. Those who have a previous arrest less than five years ago cannot apply for an RDP during the suspension. 625 ILCS 5/6-208.1

The consequence of a refusal in that situation is a three year suspension and no driving. Taking the test and failing results in a one year suspension with no driving.

On the other hand, if you have no prior DUI offense within five years, a test over the legal limit results in a suspension for six months. A refusal causes a twelve month suspension.

During all but the first thirty days of the suspension, you are eligible to apply for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP). This allows you to drive on an unlimited basis provided you agree to install an Interlock device that monitors your breath alcohol reading when you start your car and periodically while you are driving it.

Thus, for purposes of the revocation, it is not the number of DUI arrests that matters but the number of convictions. In terms of the statutory summary suspension length, the number of arrests or convictions do not matter. It’s how far apart they are and whether or not you took at test at the time of the most recent arrest.


DUI is a crime, meaning that if you are found guilty of the offense, the judge can impose financial penalties (fines and costs) and or incarceration (jail or prison). In the case of DUI, the severity of the crime is measured by including prior DUI offenses, even those that resulted in a supervision disposition.

Absent certain aggravating factors, a first DUI is a Class A misdemeanor, so the maximum sentence is a fine of $2,500.00 and or 364 days in county jail. 625 ILCS 5/11-501. A second “violation” is a Class A misdemeanor but the defendant must serve 5 days in jail or complete 240 hours of community service.

A third “violation” of the DUI law is a Class 2 felony. As such, the offender is subject to a prison term of between 3 and 7 years, although probation is an option.

The term “violation” means that even if the offender has a prior supervision, it counts because the statute does not require a prior conviction but simply a violation.

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