In Illinois, drunk driving laws are strict. Even if you do not face a DUI conviction, you may face a suspension of your license if you refuse a chemical test. 

While it is obvious that driving under the influence is illegal, there are some things you may not know about DUI laws in Illinois. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about Illinois drunk driving laws:

What are the punishments?

Here are the maximum criminal penalties for DUI charges:

  • First offense: One year in jail and $2,500 fine
  • Second offense: One year in jail and $2,500 fine
  • Third offense: Seven years in jail and $2,500 fine

These consequences are in addition to a driver’s license suspension and the installation of an ignition interlock device. In order, first, second and third offenses come with a minimum license suspension of one year, five years and 10 years.

What happens if I refuse a blood alcohol content test?

You have the right to refuse a BAC test, but it will result in the suspension of your license for the following durations:

  • First refusal: One year
  • Second refusal: Three years
  • Third refusal: Three years

This is because of the implied consent law in Illinois. If you do not agree to take a test, make sure you are aware of the repercussions.

How do I get a driving permit?

You may be able to get some driving privileges even before the reinstatement of your license. This is especially possible if you are a first-time offender. Illinois has two permits that provide relief for DUI offenders: a Monitoring Device Driving Permit and Restricted Driving Permit. To qualify for a permit, you may need to get a Blood Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device installed and prove a hardship exists.

There are a lot of details about Illinois DUI laws, but this should give you a basic understanding of the law.