Illinois DUI Laws

Wondering about Illinois DUI Laws? Convicted drivers face up to 3 years in jail, and can receive fines from $1,000 to $25,000.

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: May 9, 2020

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Illinois is working hard to lower the numbers of drivers arrested for driving under the influence, and they are doing this by making their DUI laws as strict as possible.

For example, having any amount of an impairing substance within the body can lead someone to be convicted of DUI; the substance doesn’t have to be shown to be the cause of the crash.

Illinois has several laws on their books that already treat DUI as a serious crime, and those found guilty of it receive the most serious consequences.

Illinois car insurance companies also take note of these convictions, and will adjust rates accordingly. Find out if you can save on your car insurance with our FREE ZIP code search!

Adults and Underage Drivers

In order to be found guilty of breaking Illinois’ DUI insurance laws, drivers over the age of 21 must have been proven to have been driving their vehicles with a blood alcohol content (BAC) equal to .08 percent and up.

For drivers under age 21, the limit has been lowered to .02, but there are two exceptions.One is for drivers who have ingested alcohol in a religious ceremony; the other is for those who have taken a medication containing alcohol that was prescribed for them.

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Commercial Drivers

Sometimes, people drive their companies’ vehicles in order to perform their work-related duties. These people are bus drivers, taxi drivers, limousine drivers, those who work for utilities companies, truck drivers and many others.

If these people were to have a few drinks on their lunch breaks and proceed to drive to their next jobs, they may be stopped by law enforcement officers. If their BACs register .04 or above, they won’t make it to their next jobs because they will be arrested for DUI.

When people are stopped for suspicion of driving under the influence, it will be because the officer will have noticed something about the way the person was driving. For example, people whose driving is impaired often weave in and out of their lanes.

These people will be stopped and given a field sobriety test. They will also be asked if they would like to give blood, breath or urine for a BAC chemical test.

Submitting to Illinois’ Chemical Test

A man testing a breathalyzer.

It’s a given that Illinois drivers will give blood, breath or urine for the chemical test because they have already given their consent to such a test when they became legal, licensed drivers.

But sometimes, people will refuse. This may be because they know they have been drinking and the test would definitely demonstrate that.

Refusing the chemical test in Illinois doesn’t stop drivers from having to suffer any consequences.

For the first refusal, the drivers’ licenses will be suspended for six months.

After the second refusal within five years, their licenses will be suspended for one year without the possibility of receiving a restricted license.

Mandatory Penalties for DUI Conviction in IL

Male Judge Writing On Paper In Courtroom

The following penalties occur after each consecutive DUI conviction:

First Conviction:

The first conviction requires up to one year in jail, up to $2,500 fine, one year suspended license, the Ignition Interlock Device (IID) required in the vehicle and suspension of the vehicle’s registration.

If the BAC was found to be .16 or higher, an additional $500 will be added to the fine and at least 100 hours of community service will be required.

For a first conviction when a child under 16 was riding in the car, the penalties will be up to one year and a half in jail and 25 days of community service.

The fine will be at least $1,000 along with license and vehicle registration suspension and the requirement of the IID in the vehicle after reinstatement of driving privileges.

Second Conviction:

For a second conviction, the offender will receive up to one year in jail, up to a $2,500 fine, a five-year license suspension and mandatory suspension of the vehicle’s registration.

Drivers may either receive a mandatory five day jail sentence or they may perform community service for 10 days. The five-year license suspension will be required if the first conviction occurred within the past 20 years.

If the second conviction resulted from a BAC that was higher than .16, two more days will be added to the jail sentence, $1,250 will be added to the fine and they will receive license and registration suspensions. If there was a child under 16 in the vehicle, offenders will be charged with a felony aggravated DUI.

Drivers convicted on this charge receive a jail sentence between one and three years, up to $25,000 will be added to the fine and they must perform community service for at least 25 days.

Third Conviction:

The third conviction is a Class 2 felony and the jail sentence can be between three and seven years. They will have to pay a fine of up to $2,500. Their licenses will be suspended for at least 10 years and their vehicles’ registrations will also be suspended.

With a BAC of .16 of higher, they will have 90 days added to the mandatory jail sentence. The amount added to the fine will be at least $2,500 along with the other penalties for receiving a third conviction.

If a child under 16 was in the vehicle, the charge will be a felony aggravated DUI and drivers will receive a jail sentence of up to one year, but no longer than three years.

The fine will be $25,000 and they will have to make themselves available for at least 25 days of community service.

Fourth Conviction:

Problem drivers convicted of a fourth DUI will be finished with driving; their drivers’ licenses will be taken away for the rest of their lives and their vehicles’ registrations will be suspended.

This conviction is an aggravated DUI, and there is no possibility of ever receiving restricted driving privileges or driving privileges of any kind.

If the driver was convicted with a BAC of .16 or higher, the fine for this charge will be at least $5,000. It there was a child under 16 in the car, $25,000 will be added to the fine and the former driver will need to perform 25 days of community service in an area related to children.

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The Aggravated DUI Charge in Illinois

Any DUI charge becomes an aggravated DUI charge when it becomes a felony. This means that the jail term and the community service must be completed without any possibility of the sentences being reduced or suspended.

A DUI and a Ticket for Driving without Insurance in Illinois


Illinois drivers often don’t take their first DUI arrests seriously because they are misdemeanors. If these drivers have been driving without coverage, they will have a much more formidable charge to deal with.

The charge will become a felony if the driver convicted of DUI had the expectation to know or actually did know that the vehicle was uninsured.

People with DUIs in Illinois are often wary of purchasing a high risk policy, because they will be quoted the highest rates. Some of the most dangerous drivers are those who have been convicted of a DUI.

If these people also belong to a demographic that is naturally known as a high risk, their insurance premiums may skyrocket to unimaginable heights.

Typical High Risks

Here are categories commonly listed as “high-risk drivers“:

  • A male under the age of 25
  • Anyone who has just recently received their driver’s licenses
  • Inexperienced drivers from age 16 to 19
  • Drivers who have several speeding or reckless driving tickets
  • People with low credit scores

Add any one of the above demographics to a DUI charge, and these people may not be able to find affordable car insurance without giving up eating.

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The Auto Insurance Company’s Justification for High Rates


As people become high risks, they are believed to be more likely to cause an accident. When this happens, victims of these people will file claims with their car insurance companies under the DUI driver’s bodily injury liability coverage.

This means that the insurance company will be paying for everyone’s medical bills who received injuries in the car collision up to the limits of the policy which is $40,000 in Illinois; one person is entitled to $20,000 for bodily injuries.

Drivers who cause car collisions are also required to pay for all property damage.

For this purpose, the driver who has been hit will also file a claim against the DUI driver’s property damage liability coverage, and the insurance company will have even more bills to pay in the amount of $15,000 maximum.

Because of this, auto insurance companies need to make people who have proven themselves to be dangerous drivers pay more for their premiums.

Find DUI Insurance in Illinois by Comparing Quotes

Drivers with DUIs have no choice but to comparison shop before they decide to pay their current insurance companies’ higher premiums, or they risk paying excessive amounts. Compare your options today with our FREE quote comparison tool!

It’s very possible that they will be able to find rates that are much lower than what other companies will charge them. They can find these insurance companies by comparing the car insurance quotes they receive from our FREE ZIP code search!

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