If you’re driving in Illinois and get pulled over by the police, you may be scared and unsure what the future holds. If the police charge you with a DUI, you should be aware of the penalties you may face. Getting charged with a DUI in Illinois doesn’t automatically mean you’re convicted of a crime. Hiring a Chicago criminal defense lawyer can be the key to clearing your name and avoiding a conviction.
While you may know the basic DUI laws in Illinois, there are more detailed laws to look out for when driving or when charged with a DUI. Knowing these laws can help you avoid trouble on the road and can keep you from getting into more trouble if you’ve already been pulled over.
The Implied Consent Law
The implied consent law is present in most states. This law assumes that everyone who drives in Illinois automatically consents to taking a breathalyzer test if the police believe they’re under the influence. If you refuse to take a breathalyzer test when asked, then your license will be suspended for a year. If you take the test and fail, your license will be suspended for six months.
Wrong Way DUI
As of January 1, 2019, Illinois added an array of heightened penalties for drivers who drive the wrong way down a one-way road while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Because this offense is more dangerous than driving under the influence while going the right direction, this type of DUI charge is an aggravated DUI. Offenders convicted of a wrong way DUI may face higher fines and more time in jail.
Drunk Driving with Underage Passengers
If you’re caught driving under the influence while someone in the vehicle is under the age of sixteen, your DUI penalties can be more severe. Penalties are also more severe if you’re driving a commercial vehicle while drinking or taking drugs. The penalties for these types of DUIs are increased because the risks associated with the crime increase.
Knowing these specific DUI laws in Illinois can keep you from making an irreparable mistake. Not only can you get in trouble with the law when you drive under the influence, but you can also cause a wreck that puts you and the lives of others in danger. It’s better to be cautious than to wait until something terrible happens to learn your lesson.