30Jun 2015
Jun 30, 2015

What is ‘legally drunk’ in Illinois?

In Illinois, there is no legal drinking level for drivers under the age of 21 years, as a result when a minor’s blood alcohol level is greater than zero, he/she is considered legally drunk. For non-commercial drivers above 21 years old, the state considers them drunk when their blood alcohol level is more than .08. Commercial vehicle drivers on the other hand are considered to be legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is more than .04. School bus drivers are considered to be commercial drivers in Illinois.

Illinois Drunk Driving Penalties

For offender convicted of DUI for the first time, they face a jail term of not more than one year and are subjected to pay a fine not exceeding $2,500. For second time offenders within five years of their first conviction, the offender faces a mandatory of not less than five days in prison or community service of 240 hours.

In case of a third or fourth violation within 5 years of the first violation, the offender is guilty of a class 2 felony since he/she has committed the offense of aggravated driving. As a result the offender faces a 3 to 7 years jail term and will be required to pay a fine of not more than $25,000. The penalties are more harsh if the offenders BAC level is .16 or higher. A fifth violation is treated as a Class 1 felony and the offender faces 4 to 15 years imprisonment and a fine of not more than $25,000. For a sixth violation, it is considered a Class X felony and the offender faces between 6 to 30 years imprisonment and a fine not exceeding $25,000.

If you are convicted of a DUI offence and at the time of the offence there was a passenger who was under 16 years, you will be subjected to an additional mandatory fine of at least $1,000, 140 hours of community service and an additional two days in prison.

The Point System in Illinois

As part of the Illinois DMV point system, when you are convicted of a moving violation points are added to your driving record.  The offences you are convicted off determine the number of points you receive. A conviction of reckless driving amounts to 55 points in the Illinois driving record system.