Illinois DUI Laws

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Illinois DUI laws state that any driver over the age of 21 cannot have a blood-alcohol level of 0.08%. There are lower thresholds for those who are underage. Multiple convictions, driving with a passenger under 16, or refusal to take a chemical test could result in harsher penalties.
In the United States, over 10,000 people are killed as a result of drunk driving crashes each year.
Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a dangerous crime and penalties vary by state. Even a first-time offense can cost drivers up to $10,000 in fines and legal fees—and it will most certainly impact your car insurance rates, too.
The car insurance comparison and broker app Jerry has compiled everything you need to know about DUIs in Illinois.
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What is a DUI?

A DUI is considered driving under the influence, while a DWI means driving while intoxicated or impaired. It is left to the discretion of the state to determine the difference between the two.
A DUI charge could mean that the driver was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs—even if the drugs weren’t illicit. A driver could be charged with a DUI while on prescription drugs or over-the-counter drugs if they cause impairment.
Some states use a different terminology altogether, instead favoring OUI (operating under the influence) or OWI (operating while intoxicated).

DUI in Illinois

Illinois DUI laws prohibit driving or controlling a vehicle if the driver:
  • has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08%
  • is under the influence of alcohol, intoxicating compounds, drugs, or a combination
  • has any amount of a controlled substance in their blood, urine, or other bodily fluid
  • has a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of five nanograms or more in the blood or ten nanograms or more in another bodily substance within two hours of driving
There is a zero-tolerance policy for drivers under 21.
Commercial drivers may face harsher penalties, but consequences for an underage DUI (with a BAC of at least 0.02% but less than 0.08%) are generally less severe than those for a regular DUI.
Every state has an implied consent law stipulating that you consent to be tested if you’re suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
All drivers arrested for a DUI in Illinois are required to submit to a chemical test. Drivers who fail or refuse a chemical test in Illinois face automatic license suspensions known as statutory summary suspensions.

Penalties for DUI in Illinois

Penalties for DUIs in Illinois range based on the age of the offender, whether the offender has any prior DUIs in the last five years, and if there are any underage passengers in the car. The penalties for a DUI in Illinois are as follows:

First offense

FineUp to $2,500
JailUp to a year
License suspensionAt least a year
Vehicle impoundmentNo
SR-22 requirementNo
Community ServiceUp to 100 hours

Second conviction

FineUp to $2,500
JailUp to 5 years
License suspensionAt least a year
Vehicle impoundmentYes
SR-22 requirementNo
Community ServiceUp to 240 hours

Third conviction

FineUp to $25,000
JailUp to 7 years
License suspensionAt least a year
Vehicle impoundmentYes
SR-22 requirementNo
Community ServiceUp to 480 hours
There are criminal penalties for drivers with an aggravated DUI, a BAC of 0.16% or greater, or if there is a passenger under the age of 16. For those drivers, there are higher minimum fines, jail sentences, and license suspensions.
If an offender has a passenger under 16 in the car, they must complete 25 days of community service in a program that benefits children.
Additionally, offenders are required to attend a victim impact panel (VIP), which is made up of those impacted by drunk drivers and focuses on the consequences of driving while intoxicated.
If the offense is connected with a substance abuse problem, those convicted must complete a recommended treatment program.
Key Takeaway Minimum penalties for DUIs increase for each subsequent offense.

Restricted licenses

If a driver is convicted of a second or subsequent DUI, they must hold a restricted driving permit (RDP) for five years following the offense. This permit can only be used for school, work, medical appointments, substance treatment, and other specified circumstances.
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Does a DUI impact car insurance in Illinois?

Yes, insurance companies take DUIs very seriously and you’ll be classified as a high-risk driver.
It can be difficult to secure insurance with a DUI on your record, so you’ll probably need to look at a number of providers. Jerry can quickly compare rates from up to 50 top insurers so that you don’t have to spend time completing long online forms and dealing with sales calls.
Expect your rates to rise substantially after a DUI. Your insurance company will also need to file an SR-22 in Illinois on your behalf to confirm that you hold the state-mandated minimum insurance.

Other effects of a DUI

Beyond the conviction penalties and higher insurance rates, your life can be severely impacted by a DUI.
License revocation: After a DUI, you run the risk of having your license revoked—especially if you have multiple DUIs or other offenses.
Ignition interlock device (IID): Drivers who are convicted of a DUI in Illinois must use an IID for five years. An IID is installed in the car, which deactivates the engine if alcohol is detected on the driver’s breath. The offender is required to pay $30 for each month the IID is used.
Background checks: DUIs appear on background checks, which could adversely impact your future employment opportunities.

How to find cheap insurance after a DUI

If you need help finding affordable insurance after a DUI conviction, Jerry can help. After providing you with a comprehensive cross-analysis of the best policies across providers, Jerry will handle the phone calls, paperwork, and renewals for your top pick so that you don’t have to.
To ensure you always have the lowest rate, Jerry will send you new quotes every time your policy comes up for renewal. This level of service is why Jerry earned a 4.6/5 rating on the App Store and made it the top insurance app in the country.
“I saw an ad for Jerry 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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