Illinois State Laws and Requirements

In the state of Illinois, receiving a DUI conviction is a serious situation. If you’re convicted with a DUI, you could face penalties that span the gamut from a fine all the way up to lengthy prison sentences. In most cases, you’ll have to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) even after your first offense. Understanding Illinois DUI laws is critical, especially if you’ve been charged with or convicted of a DUI. However, the legal system can be complicated, and determining which laws apply to your situation can be difficult.


Here are the basic Illinois DUI laws that every driver in the state should know.


Is it Legal to Drive? BAC Levels and Legality in Illinois


In the state of Illinois, it’s always illegal to drive if your BAC level is 0.08% or higher. This law applies to every driver, regardless of age or occupation. However, if you are an underage driver, having any alcohol in your system is illegal. Here are some BAC laws you should be aware of if you’re driving in Illinois.


  • Under 21 – If you’re under the age of 21, a BAC of 0.01% is illegal. If you’re pulled over and your BAC test shows any alcohol, it’s automatically considered to be illegal because you’re not of legal drinking age.
  • Under 18 – Any measurable sign of alcohol while driving a vehicle is illegal in the state of Illinois. In some cases, you may be required to go to juvenile court.
  • Commercial Vehicle – If you’re driving a vehicle that requires a commercial license in the state of Illinois and you’re given a sobriety test, any level above 0.04% is considered illegal due to the fact that commercial drivers have increased responsibilities and often have larger payloads than the average commuter.
  • Repeat Offender – If you’re a repeat offender, the law varies as to what’s acceptable. Consult your attorney for information relating to your specific case.


Circumstantial DUI Laws in Illinois


Aside from age restrictions, you’ll also face a variety of penalties depending on your specific situation. Illinois DUI laws assign different penalties to different drivers depending on how many offenses they’ve had in the past for driving under the influence or drunk driving. While each situation is different and it’s important to consult your attorney for case-specific information, here are the basic laws governing Illinois DUI convictions.

First Offense


In the state of Illinois, your first DUI offense can carry with it some steep penalties. Here’s what you can expect if you’ve been convicted of a DUI/DWI in Illinois for the first time.


  1. Fines of up to $2,500.
  2. License Suspension of a minimum of one year. You’ll automatically get a suspension of a year if you refuse to take the BAC test.
  3. Imprisonment  up to a year depending on your BAC level and other circumstances.
  4. IID installation – You’ll likely be required to install an IID device in Illinois by a state-approved vendor. The length of time during which you’ll have to utilize the IID varies by case.


Second Offense


If you’re caught drinking and driving for a second time in Illinois, you’ll be imposed to the same variety of penalties that you were on your first offense. However, the severity of most of these penalties will be increased. You may be subjected to any one of the following penalties, or a combination thereof, if you obtain a second DUI conviction in Illinois.


  1. Fines of up to $2,500
  2. License suspension of a minimum of five years with an automatic three-year suspension if you refuse to take the BAC test.
  3. Imprisonment of up to a year.
  4. IID installation will be required for a period of time to be decided by the courts.


Third Offense


While the fines remain about the same for third-time DUI offenders in Illinois, the prison time and length of license suspension can increase greatly. Here’s the typical set of penalties you’ll be facing if you’re convicted of a third DUI in Illinois.


  1. Fines of up to $2,500.
  2. License suspension to last a minimum of 10 years with an automatic three-year suspension if you refuse to take the BAC test.
  3. Imprisonment from three to seven years.
  4. IID installation will be required for a period of time to be decided by the courts if you’re allowed to return to driving with a restricted license.


Restricted Driving Privileges in Illinois


If you’ve been convicted of a DUI in Illinois, you may be able to apply for and obtain a restricted license which will allow you to drive to certain locations under a given set of parameters. In Illinois, this is called a Monitoring Device Driving Permit, or MDDP. Your eligibility for an MDDP depends on a variety of factors, including the number of convictions you’ve had in the past, remedial courses you’ve taken, the type of insurance you’re carrying, and whether or not you have obtained IID installation. Here’s a typical rundown of the expected requirements for those seeking an MDDP, or restricted license, in Illinois.


First Offense Eligibility


After your first DUI conviction, you’ll be eligible for an MDDP if you meet the following criteria. Of course, everything in law is on a case-by-case basis, so it’s important to consult with your attorney about your specific situation. However, this is a typical situation for those seeking an MDDP after their first DUI conviction in Illinois.


  • Pay a fine of $500
  • Complete 100 hours of community service
  • Proof of completion of and attendance at an approved alcohol evaluation session
  • Alcohol remediation course completion
  • High-risk auto insurance has been carried for at least three years
  • IID installation within 14 days of being approved for an MDDP


Second and Third Offenses


For second and third offenses you’re no longer eligible for an MDDP, but you may be eligible for what’s called a Restricted Driving Permit, or RDP. To qualify for an RDP you have to meet the following requirements for eligibility.


  • Prison sentence of five to 90 days served
  • Community service of 240 hours completed
  • Revocation time served in the past
  • DUI penalties ranging from $1,250-$2,500
  • Proof of attendance at an alcohol evaluation session
  • Proof of completion of an alcohol remedial education course or treatment program
  • High-risk auto insurance carried for three years
  • IID installation with varying requirements; consult your attorney or court order


Once you obtain your restricted driving permit, you’ll have to get an ignition interlock device installed in Illinois by a state-approved service provider within 14 days. Your specific mandates will depend on your case, your court order, and surrounding circumstances, so be sure to ask the professionals handling your case what you need to do in order to stay out of trouble and get back on track.


IID Installation in Illinois


If you’ve been convicted of a DUI in Illinois and you’re required to install an IID, that installation will be initiated by a court order. Once you receive the order from the court you can go to a state-approved service provider for your IID installation. Depending on your county and unique situation, your court order may require you to have an IID installation that comes with a DMV connection. Only a state-approved and registered service provider will be able to fulfill the court order and help you get back on track.


While the installation of an IID can restore some of your driving privileges, you won’t always be able to drive anywhere you please. In some cases, you’ll be restricted only to work, school, and necessary appointments. Further legal proceedings and ongoing maintenance of your IID device and scheduled appointments will likely also be required.


While the information reflected here is current as of this writing, laws do change from time to time and unique circumstances may change the penalties and requirements that you’re subject to. Contact your attorney for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding your specific case.

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