Drinking and driving in Illinois is a serious offense. Even if you have never found yourself in trouble with the law before, getting charged with a DUI may have serious consequences.
Under Illinois law, anyone caught driving a car with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher faces arrest and prosecution. Find out what you may face should you climb behind the wheel after a couple of alcoholic beverages.
What is a first offense charge?
Under the law, anyone driving under the influence may go to jail. Even without prior offenses, you face jail time. Whether you go to jail or not depends on a few factors. First, the level of alcohol in your system plays a role in determining the penalty. The higher your BAC, the more dangerous and negligent your actions are. Thus, courts may decide to hit you with maximum penalties, even if you have no prior convictions. This includes jail time and fines. If your record is clean and your BAC is lower, you may face license suspension, fines and some combination of a substance abuse class, probation and community service.
Are there exceptions?
The law accounts for what qualifies as a DUI. Anyone under 21 who gets caught with a BAC higher than .00 may face arrest for a DUI. License suspension, fines and classes are likely consequences dished out by the court. If an officer pulls you over while operating a commercial vehicle, such as a truck or school bus, and your BAC is higher than .04, you may face a DUI arrest and conviction.
Driving under the influence does not have to spell disaster for your criminal record. It may temporarily alter your path forward depending on the circumstances surrounding the infraction.