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What to Expect From a First-Time DUI Offense in Illinois

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Posted on June 10, 2023

It can be unsettling being charged with a first-time DUI. Your thoughts may turn to the effects on your life and the cascading consequences. It is common to consider the long-term ramifications.

The proper legal representation in central Illinois understands the dire situation that a DUI can bring and will look at all the options to work towards the best-case scenario for you. An attorney should take your first offense as seriously as any charge, working to have the charges against you dropped or minimized, making the law work in your favor.

The Realities of a DUI

Driving under the influence in Illinois is taken seriously. A long-term effect of a DUI in Illinois is that a conviction will stay on your record forever, and your record cannot be sealed or expunged, no matter how much time passes. A single decision will change your record forever and possibly have lifelong repercussions.

A more immediate effect of a DUI charge can be the suspension of your license, even before your case goes to court. Once convicted, you may face a one-year license suspension, and the loss can convert to longer suspensions for drivers under 21.

You can apply for a restricted permit to drive to essential places such as work, school, or necessary appointments. A stipulation of the restricted permit is placing either an ignition interlock device (IID) or a breath alcohol ignition device (BAIID) on the vehicle.

Penalties and Fines of a First-Time DUI

Your fines or fees can vary for a first offense, but some factors can increase the severity of your conviction. Transporting passengers under 16 and registering a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.16% or higher draw more severe penalties. There are additional actions you may face.

  • A maximum sentence of up to 364 days in jail
  • Any impoundment fees that accrue
  • An increase in insurance premiums
  • 100 hours of community service for a BAC of 0.16% or higher
  • The possibility of six months in jail and a 25-day community service commitment to a program benefiting children for transporting minors under 16 while intoxicated
  • Face fines up to $2500
  • For a BAC of .16% or higher, a minimum of $500 is required, and $1000 when passengers are under the age of 16
  • Possible mandatory DUI school with costs ranging from $500 to several thousand dollars

License Reinstatement

There is also a process of reinstatement to regain your driving privileges. The requirements must be fulfilled to get your license back.

  • A driving record with no infractions at the time of application
  • Completion of an educational program on alcohol and drug use
  • Proof of evaluation and treatment, if it is ordered
  • Appear before a hearing officer with the Secretary of State
  • Offer evidence you will no longer be a danger to the public if your license is restored
  • Pay a license reinstatement fee of $500
  • Provide proof of insurance
  • Pass the written, vision, and driving tests again and pay the license application fee

Why a Top Attorney Matters in Illinois

The penalties and fines for a first-time DUI in Illinois can add up quickly, costing many hours and thousands of dollars, including a lifelong DUI record. The value of a highly effective DUI defense attorney cannot be overstated. When you work with Holley, Rosen, and Beard, LLC, you are investing in the possibility of a future without the harsh repercussions that may follow a first-time DUI charge.

Your livelihood, respect, and future are worth the investment so that you can find balance again. Our mission is to help you build your life back.