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.
If you do not take a test or register a BAC of at least .15 but less than .20 and have no dependency symptoms, you are moderate risk. You must complete DRE and 12 hours of early intervention. Early intervention is designed to alter your behavior in order to avoid your developing alcohol problems in the future.
A DUI “disposition” includes a DUI conviction, court supervision, a reckless driving that was originally a DUI, a statutory summary or implied consent suspension even if the DUI was dismissed and an serious accident involving alcohol. If you have more than one DUI disposition, you cannot be minimal or moderate risk. If you have one abuse or dependency symptom, you cannot be minimal or moderate risk. If you have only one DUI disposition but a BAC of at least .20, you may not be minimal or moderate risk.
In any of the situations in the previous paragraph, you must be classified at least significant risk. You must complete DRE and 20 hours of alcohol counseling as it assumed you have an alcohol abuse problem and if you do not make changes, you may develop alcoholism.
If you have 3 DUI dispositions within 10 years and fewer than 3 dependency signs, you are high risk non dependent. You must complete 75 hours of alcohol counseling.
If you have 3 or more dependency symptoms, you are alcohol dependent (alcoholic) regardless of your driving record, BAC’s, criminal history etc. Only those with at least 3 dependency symptoms are alcoholics. You must complete 75 hours of treatment and if you hope to drive again, you are required to attend AA or demonstrate some other support program.
You can avoid a DUI conviction and the need for a Secretary of State hearing if you are eligible for, and the judge grants you, court supervision. However, even in that case, you must present a drug and alcohol evaluation and meet all the requirements set forth above. 625 ILCS 5/11-501.01
Peoria woman involved in fatal DUI faces prison absent proving “extraordinary circumstances” March 29, 2013, Illinois DUI Lawyer Blawg
Negotiating the Illinois Secretary of State’s administrative rules pertaining to risk levels June 24, 2011, Illinois DUI Lawyer Blawg