Driving under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicants is a serious charge in Illinois, especially if others are harmed in an accident. The offense may result in severe penalties if you are convicted. Under certain circumstances, you may request an alternative form of punishment as part of your sentencing to lessen or replace prison time. When a defendant shows a sincere commitment to rehabilitation and does not have a prior criminal record, long-term probation may be ordered, such as was the case for a DuPage County marine whose story was reported in the Daily Herald.

After a night of mixed drinks at a sports bar, the 24-year-old defendant fell asleep at the wheel while driving in the wrong direction on I-290. His 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee crashed head-on into an eastbound 2008 Toyota RAV 4. The driver and her passenger suffered injuries that required multiple surgeries in order for them to recover. While the defendant did not remember the collision, video footage from the bar and his receipt provided evidence of his whereabouts during the unfortunate evening. Described by fellow marines and a family member as “exemplary,” the defendant was ordered to serve 180 days in DuPage County Jail and 30 months of probation.

Many people might misinterpret probation as having complete freedom and the ability to continue on with their regular activities. In Illinois, probation as part of a DUI sentence may require wearing an electronic monitoring device, installing an ignition interlock device on your vehicle and attending alcohol or substance abuse treatment sessions. Additional penalties may also be incurred such as fines, community service and a suspension of your driver’s license.

This information on how you might reduce the severity of a punishment for DUI is provided for educational purposes, and should not be interpreted as legal advice.