In Illinois, drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs are subject to serious penalties. The legal blood alcohol content limit for a DUI charge in the state is 0.08%, or any amount of alcohol for drivers who are younger than 21. 

Before facing a DUI court date, understand the potential penalties for this offense. 

First-time DUI 

A driver with no prior convictions may receive the following consequences for a DUI conviction: 

  • Mandatory evaluation for substance use disorder 
  • License suspension for 12 months 
  • Up to $2,500 in fines 
  • Up to 364 days in jail 

If a passenger younger than 16 was in the vehicle at the time of the DUI arrest, the driver will receive a six-month mandatory jail sentence and a minimum $1,000 fine. Drivers with a BAC above 0.16% at the time of arrest will receive 100 hours of community service and a mandatory minimum $500 fine for a first-time DUI conviction. Because Illinois is an implied consent state, breath test refusal carries a one-year license suspension in addition to the other DUI penalties. 

Felony aggravated DUI 

Some drivers receive felony convictions for a DUI. Elevated charges apply in these circumstances: 

  • A second DUI involving a child younger than 16 in the vehicle 
  • A DUI without auto insurance coverage or a driver’s license 
  • A DUI that results in serious injury or death to another individual 
  • A DUI that occurred while working as a driver for hire (an Uber or Lyft driver, for example) 
  • A third-time or subsequent DUI conviction 
  • A DUI while driving a school bus 
  • A DUI in a 20-mph school zone 

The exact consequences vary based on the details of the case. For a third-time DUI or a second DUI with a child younger than 16 in the car, the driver will receive three to seven years in prison. A DUI accident that causes wrongful death can result in three to 14 years in prison.