FAQ DUI

FAQ DUI

CAN DUI HURT YOUR EMPLOYMENT?

This depends largely on who you work for and what you do. For drivers with a valid CDL, a DUI can cost you your job.

CAN I BE ARRESTED FOR DUI EVEN THOUGH MY BREATHALYZER WAS UNDER .08?

Yes. In Illinois, the state’s blood alcohol limit of .08 only represents a presumption that you have been driving while intoxicated. While a breathalyzer reading below .08 can help disprove a presumption of drunk driving, it does not prevent the State from relying on other evidence such as slurred speech, inability to walk a line, glassy eyes and erratic driving.

The State, however, has the burden to prove a DUI beyond a reasonable doubt. An experienced attorney can help probe the weaknesses in the state’s case and improve your chances of obtaining a not guilty verdict.

 

CAN I GO TO JAIL FOR DRIVING ON A SUSPENDED LICENSE?

If your license was suspended based on a DUI, a first offense for driving on a suspended license is a Class A Misdemeanor, punishable by one year in jail. Further, there is a minimum sentence of either 30 days of community service or 10 days in jail. Later offenses can be charged as felonies with longer potential prison sentences and greater minimum penalties.

CAN I GO TO JAIL FOR DUI IN ILLINOIS?

While you often might not be sentenced to jail on a first offense, a first time DUI is a Class A Misdemeanor with a potential jail term of up to one year.

CAN YOU DRIVE WITH AN ILLINOIS DUI?

The Secretary of State automatically suspends your driver’s license on the 46th day after your arrest. In order to drive, you need to either 1) petition the court to overturn the suspension or 2) obtain a permit from the Secretary of State to use a Breath Activated Interlock Ignition Device (a type of breathalyzer on the steering wheel).

CAN YOU GET AN ILLINOIS DUI REDUCED TO A RECKLESS DRIVING?

Under limited circumstances with the help of an experienced attorney, you may be able to get the charges reduced in exchange for pleading guilty.

CAN YOU GET YOUR DUI CHARGES DROPPED IN COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS?

The answer is generally not. Some defendants believe that the prosecution will realize police made a mistake and drop the charges, but that just doesn’t happen here. The charges may be dropped if your attorney can successfully petition the court to suppress the evidence from the arrest because of faulty police procedure.

CAN YOUR REVOKED DRIVER’S LICENSE BE REINSTATED IN ILLINOIS?

The answer is yes, but the ability to reinstate your license is far from guaranteed. You must convince the Secretary of State that you deserve to drive. This will involve significant preparation, such as substance abuse treatment classes, before applying to reinstate your license. You must also appear at a hearing before the Secretary of State. An experienced attorney can guide you through the process and improve your chances of winning your license back.

CAN YOUR SUSPENDED DRIVER’S LICENSE BE REINSTATED IN ILLINOIS?

Generally, a suspended driver’s license can be reinstated once you have completed the term of your suspension and paid a fee to the Secretary of State. A suspended license differs from a revoked license.

DO YOU NEED A LAWYER FOR AN ILLINOIS DUI?

Yes. Many judges will require you to obtain a lawyer. An attorney can review your case for your best possible defense. Did the police have probable cause to stop you? Was your driving truly impaired? Even if the evidence against you is overwhelming, an attorney who is respected in the courthouse may be able to negotiate a more favorable plea agreement than you can on your own.

HOW LONG DOES DUI STAY ON YOUR DRIVING RECORD?

In Illinois, DUI remains on your driving record. It cannot be expunged unless the charges against you were dismissed or you obtained a not guilty verdict.

I AM UNDER AGE 21 AND HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH AN ALCOHOL-RELATED OFFENSE. WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO MY LICENSE?

Under the Zero Tolerance policy, the Illinois Secretary of State will automatically suspend the license of any driver under age 21, who has been caught drinking or even carrying open alcohol in the passenger compartment of their car. You need not be anywhere close to the .08 breathalyzer limit to lose your license. Any trace of alcohol in your system is enough, even a .01 reading.

You may also lose your license for having open alcohol in the passenger section of your car, even if the bottle wasn’t yours. If it is your bottle, you face a charge of illegal possession. But if it is not, you can still be charged with illegal transportation, causing the loss of your license for 12 months on a first offense.

If you are under the age of 21 and have been charged with an alcohol-related crime, you should immediately seek the advice of an attorney. You may be able to contest the charges against you. Maybe the officer lacked the probable cause to pull you over. Maybe you can negotiate a plea to a lesser offense.

Even if you are convicted of an alcohol-related offense, you may be able to obtain a restricted driving permit. The Secretary of State allows you to request a hearing to determine if you have a sufficient hardship to grant the permit. Primarily, permits are granted to allow you to go to work or to obtain medical care.

 

IF MY LICENSE IS SUSPENDED OR REVOKED, CAN I GET MY LICENSE IN ANOTHER STATE?

Generally, the answer is no. The Driver’s License Compact enables states to exchange information about your driving record. Once the state where you apply for a license learns about your revocation through the Compact, you will be denied.

IS DRIVING ON A REVOKED LICENSE A FELONY IN ILLINOIS?

A first offense is generally a Class A Misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail. Later offenses, however, can be charged as felonies with greater mandatory jail sentences.

IS DRIVING ON A SUSPENDED LICENSE A FELONY IN ILLINOIS?

Driving on a suspended license can be a very serious offense if the reason for your suspension was related to DUI or reckless homicide. A first offense is generally a Class A Misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail. However, later offenses can be charged as a felony. A first offense carries a minimum sentence of 10 days in jail or 30 days community service. This mandatory sentence increases with later offenses. Penalties are also increased if you caused an accident resulting in serious injury or death or if you could have obtained a restricted driving permit but failed to do so.

IS ILLINOIS DUI A CRIMINAL OFFENSE?

First time DUI is a Class A Misdemeanor. Later DUI offenses can be charged as felonies. Therefore, a DUI is a criminal as well as a traffic offense.

IS THERE A FINE FOR ILLINOIS DUI?

The maximum fine for a misdemeanor DUI is $2,500. Bear in mind, however, that the costs related to evaluations, treatment, and reporting to county offices can easily total another $3,000.

IS YOUR LICENSE SUSPENDED IMMEDIATELY AFTER AN ILLINOIS DUI?

The Illinois Secretary of State automatically suspends your driver’s license beginning on the 46th day after your arrest. You may try to have the suspension overturned. Your best chance to do so lies in hiring an attorney immediately after your arrest.

MY BREATHALYZER IS JUST OVER THE .08 LIMIT. CAN I STILL FIGHT MY DUI?

In Illinois, even if your breathalyzer is at or just slightly over .08, you may still be able to fight a charge of drunk driving. The .08 limit is only a legal presumption that you were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. An experienced attorney may be able to present other evidence to show your driving was not impaired. For example, if you took field sobriety tests, such as the walk and turn test, and you were able to complete the test competently, you may have a chance.

WHAT IS AN ARRAIGNMENT FOR AN ILLINOIS DUI?

If your DUI is a felony, you may be arraigned early on. The arraignment gives you the opportunity to plead guilty or not guilty. Generally, you will want to obtain an attorney and enter a plea of not guilty even if you intend to negotiate a plea bargain at a later date.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A SUSPENDED AND A REVOKED LICENSE IN ILLINOIS?

A suspended license is generally temporary and for a set time period. Your license can then be reinstated after the suspension is over and you have paid the reinstatement fee. A revoked license has no set termination date. However, you may be able to reinstate your revoked license by applying to the Secretary of State, attending a hearing and presenting evidence that you now deserve to have your license returned. As the Secretary of State’s inclination is to say no, it helps to have an experienced attorney to guide you through the reinstatement process.

WILL A DUI SHOW UP ON A BACKGROUND CHECK?

If you receive a sentence of court supervision or win the case, it may not show up. If you receive a sentence of conditional discharge, it probably will.