Illinois DUI Laws (Everything You Need to Know)

Illinois DUI Laws (Everything You Need to Know)

Does Illinois have strict DUI laws? 

What happens when you are caught driving under the influence?

Are there any other laws related to DUI in the state?

If you asked any of these questions, then you’ve come to the right place. 

Here, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about the Illinois DUI laws. We’ll talk about all the laws concerning DUI, the penalties, and other facts. 

So let’s dive right in! 

DUI Laws in Illinois

Illinois DUI Laws

Driving under the influence implies that you have a certain amount of alcohol or drugs in your system. This is identified by checking your blood alcohol content (BAC) or cannabis tetrahydrocannabinol content (THC).

In Illinois, it’s considered to be a DUI if: 

  • You’re 21 or older and your BAC level is greater than or equal to 0.08%
  • You’re below 21 and your BAC level is greater than 0.01%
  • You’re a commercial driver and your BAC level is greater than or equal to 0.04%
  • You have a THC level of 5 nanograms or more in the blood or 10 nanograms or more in another bodily substance
  • You have any amount of a controlled drug, substance, or intoxicating compound in the blood

If you show strong signs of drunk driving but your BAC or THC level does not reach the percentages stated above, then you still might be charged with DUI. This is because people react differently to the amount of alcohol or drugs in their blood. 

Now, let’s look at the other laws in Illinois that relate to DUI. 

Implied Consent Law

Every person who has a driver’s license in Illinois is required to submit to the Implied Consent Law. 

This law states that…

“every driver who has physical control over a motor vehicle has already given consent to chemical testing of blood, urine, breath, or bodily substance if they are suspected of DUI.” 

If you refuse to be tested for DUI, your license will be suspended. You may also be deemed a suspect of DUI. 

Open Container Law

The Open Container Law prohibits the consumption of alcohol while driving a motor vehicle. 

This law states that… 

“no motor vehicle shall transport or carry an alcoholic beverage that has a broken seal. In other words, an open alcohol bottle.” 

Of course, you can still carry or transport alcoholic beverages — as long as they are sealed shut. 

An exemption to this law is when you transport an open alcoholic bottle when you’re coming from a party, restaurant, or event. However, the alcoholic beverage should be in a transparent, tamper-proof bag. 

Contributing to DUI Law 

Contributing to a DUI means that you are allowing someone you suspect to be under the influence to drive your vehicle. You are also considered contributing to DUI if you offer alcohol or drugs to someone below 21 years old. 

If you are proven to be doing either of the two, you will be fined and sentenced to jail. Your driver’s license will also be suspended. 

DUI Penalties in Illinois

Illinois has severe penalties for each offense made under DUI. Here’s a table of the penalties: 

OffenseCommunity Service/Jail timeFineLicense Revocation
1stJail time up to 1 or 364 days$500 – $2,500Minimum of 1 year
2ndMinimum 5 days of jail time or 240 hours of community service$1,250 – $2,500Minimum of 5 years if the conviction is within 20 years from 1st offense
3rd3-7 years of imprisonment or 480 hours of community serviceMax of $25,000Minimum of 10 years

There are different penalties if your BAC is greater than or equal to 0.16% or if you are transporting someone below 16 while driving under the influence. 

Here are the enhanced penalties if driving with BAC levels of 0.16% or more. Take note that these will be on top of the penalties given based on the table above.  

OffenseCommunity Service/Jail timeFineLicense Revocation
1st100 hours of community serviceAdditional $500 mandatory fineMinimum of 1 year
2ndAdditional two days of jail timeAdditional $1,250Minimum of 5 years if the conviction is within 20 years from 1st offense
3rdAdditional of 90 days jail timeAdditional $2,500Minimum of 10 years

And here are the penalties for those driving under the influence with a 16-year-old or below in the vehicle. Likewise, the below penalties are on top of the initial DUI penalties in the first table. 

OffenseCommunity Service/Jail timeFineLicense Revocation
1stAdditional 100 hours of community serviceAdditional $1,000 mandatory fineMinimum of 1 year
2nd10 days – 7 years jail time $2,500 – $25,000 additional fineMinimum of 5 years if the conviction is within 20 years from 1st offense
3rd10 days – 7 years jail time $2,500 – $25,000 additional fineMinimum of 10 years

If your license is suspended or revoked, you need to complete the following before you can get back your license: 

  • Alcohol/drug evaluation
  • Rehabilitation program for alcohol/drugs
  • Administrative hearing with the Secretary of State
  • Pay a reinstatement fee for your license
  • Get Financial Responsibility Insurance for 3 years

What is Aggravated DUI in Illinois?

An aggravated DUI is charged if: 

  • There is a death or personal injury involved in an accident involving DUI
  • You have received your third or subsequent DUI offense
  • You are charged with DUI while driving a school bus or limousine
  • You are operating a motor vehicle without a driver’s license, insurance, or permit
  • You received another DUI after being charged with reckless homicide or aggravated DUI that involved a death

What is the Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) in Illinois?

The Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) is a device installed in your vehicle if you apply for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP). This device reads your BAC levels before you start your vehicle. 

You can only have a BAIID if it’s installed on a state-approved installation site. And before you get a go signal to install this device, you need to apply for the MDDP, which is only available for first-time DUI convictions. 

During the duration of the MDDP, the Secretary of State tracks your BAIID. If you attempt to tamper with the device or if it detects a higher BAC, then it will alert the Secretary of State. 

You are not required to apply for an MDDP. This is purely voluntary. However, if you don’t apply for an MDDP you will have to complete the suspension period. 

How Do You Get a DUI Dismissed in Illinois?

Dismissing a DUI means it won’t show up on your driving record. However, this is only possible if:

  • You can prove that you were not driving under the influence 
  • The officer made a mistake in administering the chemical test to get your BAC
  • The breathalyzer was inaccurate or defective
  • The police officer asked you to stop unlawfully

In any case, it’s important to have the help of an attorney to prove any of these circumstances. 


And that was everything you need to know about the Illinois DUI laws. 

As we saw, there are many laws surrounding DUI in Illinois. But while there are many, the goal is simple — to discourage anyone from driving under the influence. 

A 6-month suspension on your driver’s license seems like discouragement enough! 

But if the penalties are not enough, just think that avoiding DUI is one step closer to preventing injuries and deaths on the road. 

Be a safe and responsible driver!

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