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Illinois DUI Lawyers

Accomplished DuPage County Attorney that knows the Illinois Drunk Driving Laws

When you are arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, there are two separate tracks to your case, both governed by the Illinois drunk driving statutes. The accomplished DUI lawyers of Michael T. Norris, Ltd. and John W. Callahan, Ltd. handle both the criminal court and administrative license proceedings.

Contact us for a free consultation with attorneys with a reputation for taking and winning the toughest DUI cases. We practice in DuPage County and Kane County.


Per se DUI — You can be convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) solely on a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher.

  • A first offense is punishable by up to one year in jail and fines up to $2,500, plus loss of driving privileges for six months or more.
  • A second offense carries mandatory jail or community service, and five-year license revocation. A third offense is a felony.

Impaired driving DUI — You can be convicted of DUI for other evidence of impairment, even if your BAC was less than .08.

High BAC — DUI with a BAC of .16 or higher triggers additional criminal penalties, such as extra jail time, fines and/or community service.

Transporting a child — If you had a child under age 16 in the car while you were driving under the influence, additional penalties apply.

Aggravated DUI (Felony DUI)Aggravated DUI can be charged for (a) DUI resulting in death or injury, (b) a third or subsequent DUI, (c) driving a school bus under the influence, (d) DUI without a valid license or (e) DUI after a prior alcohol-related death.

Aggravated DUI is a class 4, class 3, class 2, class 1 or class X felony, depending on the circumstances. For example a third DUI is punishable by one to three years in prison, while the prison sentence for a sixth DUI could be six to 30 years. Felony DUIs also carry fines of up to $25,000.

Driving while suspended for DUIDriving on a suspended license (DWLS) is a class A misdemeanor. If the license was suspended or revoked for DUI, the penalty is up to a year in jail, with a mandatory minimum of 10 days in jail. A second offense of DWLS is a Class 4 felony, punishable by one to three years in prison, with a minimum of 30 days in jail. The license suspension/revocation will be doubled or increased by at least one year.

Zero Tolerance/Underage DUI

Drivers under the age of 21 with any alcohol in their system (BAC greater than .00) are subject to the Illinois "Use It and Lose It" Zero Tolerance law. For a first offense, the license is suspended for three months (or six months if the breath test was refused). On a second offense, the suspension is one year (or two years for test refusal).

Underage drivers with a BAC of .08 or greater can be charged with DUI. In addition to the criminal penalties, the statute requires a minimum two-year license revocation. An under-21 driver convicted of DUI can get an MDDP permit after one year. An under-18 driver convicted of DUI is not eligible for an MDDP.


Implied Consent and Test Refusal

As a condition of driving in Illinois, drivers are presumed under state law to consent to testing upon arrest for driving under the influence (DUI): a breath test for alcohol intoxication or blood or urine test for intoxicating drugs.

Refusal to submit to testing is a violation of the Implied Consent statute that results in automatic license suspension (which can be challenged in court). The suspension is one year for a first offense of test refusal, or three years for a second refusal within five years. A person who refuses the test can still be charged with the criminal offense of DUI, and the refusal can be used as evidence in court.

Statutory Summary Suspension and License Reinstatement

If your blood-alcohol content (BAC) is measured at .08 or greater, or if you have any amount of impairing chemicals in your system, your license is subject to Statutory Summary Suspension (SSS). Suspension is six months on a first offense, or one year for a second DUI within five years.

You can continue driving for 45 days after arrest. The statutory suspension starts on the 46th day after the arrest, unless you file for a hearing to challenge the suspension. At the end of the suspension period, you must petition for license reinstatement before you can drive again. This is not an automatic process, but a Secretary of State hearing that you must "pass."

Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP)

First-time offenders (and certain second offenders) may be eligible for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit, commonly known as an MDDP or hardship permit. The MDDP requires:

  • Installation of an ignition interlock (BAIID) on your vehicle to prevent driving drunk
  • Wearing a SCRAM device (ankle bracelet) to prevent alcohol consumption

Even with an MDDP permit and device, the person cannot drive for the first 30 days of the suspension period. Driving without a BAIID (or tampering with a BAIID/SCRAM) is a class 4 felony.

Experienced DUI and License Suspension Defense Lawyers

The lawyers of Michael T. Norris, Ltd. and John W. Callahan, Ltd. know Illinois DUI law and how to beat a DUI or position you for the most favorable resolution. Call us toll free at 1-877-335-6693 or contact us online for a free and confidential consultation. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day.  Serving Naperville, Wheaton, Addison, West Chicago, Downers Grove and all of DuPage County.