What Happens When You Get a 2nd DUI in Illinois

A second DUI offense in Illinois is usually charged as a Class A misdemeanor resulting in jail time. Here are the details.
Written by Shannon Fitzgerald
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
A 2nd
DUI offense in Illinois
usually results in a Class A misdemeanor conviction, which is subject to a minimum of five days in jail or 240 hours of community service. You will also be responsible for at least $1,000 in fines in addition to court costs, and your license could be revoked. 
Like the rest of the country,
doesn’t take driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol lightly. According to DUI laws in Illinois, drivers who repeat the offense can face especially significant consequences—including an upgraded charge to a felony depending on the circumstances. 
If you’ve received a 2nd DUI conviction yourself, it’s crucial to know what penalties you’re facing, what your options are, and how this could impact you in the long run. Here to help walk you through it is
, the
car insurance
savings app.

What is a 2nd offense DUI in Illinois?

Let’s start with
what a DUI is
in general. In Illinois, driving under the influence (aka DUI) is considered any situation in which you are driving or in physical control of a vehicle while: 
  • You have a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of 0.08% or higher 
  • You’ve consumed any amount of alcohol, intoxicating compound, drug, or combination of such that renders you incapable of driving safely 
  • There is any amount of intoxicating compound listed in Illinois’
    Use of Intoxicating Compounds Act
    in your breath, blood, or other bodily substance
  • There are five or more nanograms of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration in your blood or bodily substance within two hours of driving or controlling a vehicle
Note, that the THC concentration law does not apply to those using medical cannabis with a valid registry card unless they are impaired by the cannabis use. Additionally, drivers under the age of 21 may have NO concentration of alcohol, drug, or combination thereof in their system. 
Illinois has a zero-tolerance policy for DUI convictions, meaning that a DUI will stay on your record for life. Therefore, any consecutive DUI convictions following your first charge will count as a 2nd offense.  
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What is the punishment for a 2nd DUI in Illinois?

A 2nd DUI offense in Illinois is most commonly classified as a Class A misdemeanor. This charge comes with administrative penalties, which are automatically imposed by the DMV before guilt is assigned, and criminal penalties, which are assigned after a guilty ruling in court. 
After you’re arrested for a 2nd DUI in Illinois, your driver’s license is automatically suspended for at least a year. Refusing to complete a chemical test upon your arrest can also result in automatic license suspension for up to three years according to Illinois’ implied consent law
Once you receive a guilty conviction, your license is immediately revoked and will not be eligible for reinstatement for a minimum period of one year. You may, however, hold a restricted driving permit (RDP) for five years following a 2nd DUI offense. This can only be used for essential purposes like school, work, and medical appointments, and requires drivers to purchase and install an ignition interlock device (IID). 
All drivers charged with a 2nd DUI will face the following criminal penalty minimums: 
  • At least five days of jail time or 240 hours of community service 
  • At least a $1,000 fine (not including court costs) 
  • Attendance of a victim impact panel (VIP) 
  • Alcohol and drug evaluation and possible rehabilitation 
If you’re convicted of a 2nd DUI with certain aggravating factors, you will face higher fines, longer jail time, and more severe penalties. Your charge may also be upgraded to a felony, which will have a heavier impact on your employment prospects and any future charges.
These aggravating factors include: 
  • Driving with a BAC of 0.16% or higher 
  • Driving under the influence with a passenger who is under 16
  • Driving under the influence as a commercial driver 
  • Causing bodily harm or death to another person due to intoxicated driving 
  • Speeding excessively or in a school or construction zone while under the influence
Key Takeaway The minimum penalties for a 2nd DUI offense in Illinois include five days in jail, license suspension, and a $1,000 fine. 

How much does a 2nd DUI in Illinois cost in the long run?

While doing jail time for your 2nd DUI may seem like the worst penalty for this offense, there are ongoing financial consequences you will have to endure, as well. Fines and fees can add up fast with a 2nd DUI, sometimes leading to a hit of over $10,000 when increased insurance costs are factored in. 
Here’s how it all breaks down. 

Fines and fees

The minimum fine for a non-aggravated 2nd DUI offense is $1,000. However, the maximum fine is $2,500, which goes even higher if there are any aggravating factors to the charge. 
The costs don’t end here, though. On top of these mandatory fines, you will also be responsible for paying court costs, county fees, and penalty assessments decided by the court. Additionally, all drug and alcohol evaluation and victim impact panel costs will come out of your pocket, as well. Typically, this means an extra $300 to $600

Alternative transportation

When you’re convicted of a 2nd DUI in Illinois, your license will be suspended for at least a year. Often, this suspension will last up to five years. While you may receive a restricted driving permit during this time, you will be responsible for paying for an ignition interlock device, which also comes with a $30 monthly fee
If your license is revoked, or if you need to drive to any non-essential destinations with a suspended license, you will need to rely on alternate transportation. Ride service costs add up, and you may lose out on income if you’re not able to reliably get to work or a job opportunity. 

Increased car insurance costs 

Predictably, getting a 2nd DUI on your Illinois driving record can do a number on your car insurance. You can expect your premium to go up by about 80% after a DUI conviction. On average, basic
liability car insurance
in Illinois costs drivers $2,138 a year. Therefore, after a 2nd DUI conviction, you may be paying an extra $1,710 a year to stay compliant with
Illinois’ car insurance laws
With all of these factors taken into consideration, the total five-year cost of a 2nd DUI in Illinois can be as much as $13,350!
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How to avoid jail time for a 2nd DUI in Illinois

While the consequences of a 2nd DUI in Illinois are serious for a good reason, there are ways to scale down jail time, penalties, and fines. Namely: 
  • Hire an attorney.
  • Plead guilty to an amended “wet reckless” charge.
When you’re found guilty of a 2nd offense DUI in Illinois, your license is automatically revoked and you are mandated to serve a minimum of five days in jail. However, an attorney may be able to drop your charge by proving that the arresting officer didn’t follow appropriate procedures. 
Alternatively, an attorney may be able to negotiate a “wet reckless” plea deal, which swaps the DUI charge with a reckless driving conviction noting drugs and alcohol were involved. Though insurance companies do not differentiate between the two charges, a wet reckless charge can prevent the usual license revocation that follows a guilty sentence for a 2nd DUI. 
A wet reckless conviction is classified as a class A misdemeanor—just like a 2nd offense DUI. Therefore, you likely won’t be able to avoid the minimum five-day jail sentence, but you can avoid the hassle of applying for a restricted driving permit or license reinstatement. You also won’t have to pay the installation cost and monthly fee of an ignition interlock device. 

How to find affordable car insurance in Illinois after a 2nd DUI

When you have a 2nd DUI on your driving record, your insurance provider will need to file an
SR-22 certificate in Illinois
to prove to the DMV that you carry the state liability insurance minimums.  
Insurance companies classify drivers convicted with DUIs as high-risk drivers and increase their insurance premiums as a result. Securing affordable coverage after a DUI conviction, therefore, requires some extra guidance—that’s where
comes in.  
The app is free to use and instantly finds the lowest
car insurance
rates available to you from over 55 partner insurers. Once you find a plan you like, Jerry’s expert brokers are ready to help handle the calls and paperwork and answer any questions you might have as you navigate coverage moving forward. 
Receiving a 2nd DUI is a wake-up call in itself. With Jerry’s help, your car insurance rates can be a little less of a nightmare as you re-evaluate and recover. 
“I saw an ad for
on Instagram and decided to give it a try. I have a terrible driving record, but Nathan still helped me. Before, almost no one wanted to insure me. Now, I have a great policy and save $200/month. I’m one happy gal!” —Terri C.
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It depends. An aggravated DUI, which can involve a BAC over 0.16% or a minor in the vehicle, will be charged as a felony. However, a standard 2nd DUI offense is charged as a Class A misdemeanor.
In most cases. Usually, a 2nd DUI in Illinois carries a mandatory minimum jail sentence of five days. However, you may perform 240 hours of community service instead.
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