How Harsh Are DWI Penalties in Illinois?

Illinois courts are pretty harsh when it comes to drunk driving offenses. As such, DWI penalties in Illinois carry both administrative and criminal consequences that can make your life extremely difficult.

The penalties in the state differ per case. The actual amount offenders need to pay will depend on their blood alcohol concentration (BAC), their age, whether they had a child in their vehicle when they were stopped, whether they were driving on the wrong side of the road and whether they had a previous conviction. Any of these factors can increase penalty severity.

DWI Penalties in Illinois

DWI penalties in Illinois are divided into three categories as per severity:

First Offense

A first offense is a Class A misdemeanor. It can result in a year in prison, a fine of up to $2500, and it can also lead to a one or two-year license suspension. If you are under 21 years old, you face license suspension for two years.

Second Offense

In Illinois, a second DWI offense is also considered a Class A misdemeanor that carries a mandatory prison sentence of five days or 240 hours of community service. Additionally, offenders can get their driver’s license revoked for five years if they have a previous charge.

Third Offense

A third offense is considered a Class 2 felony. If charged, offenders can face three to seven years in prison and a fine amounting to $25,000. Their license can also be revoked for ten years following the offense. To get it back, you need to apply for and acquire a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP) and maintain it for at least five years. Additionally, you can only drive to essential locations such as a medical center, school, workplace, etc.

To get an RDP, you also need to install an ignition interlock device, aka a Breathalyzer, in your car for $30 a month. You have to pay the fee out of pocket. If convicted for a third time, offenders cannot apply for a reinstated license, and if they are charged with a DWI offense again, they can face a prison sentence of up to 15 years. In case you are charged with aggravated DWI, the jail time can increase, and you can also face other consequences that can make your life extremely difficult.

Any DWI offense in Illinois can make your life a living hell, so you should avoid them as much as possible. However, if you are charged with a third DWI in Illinois, don’t lose hope. At Covert Marrero Covert, we have experienced DWI & DUI attorneys in Warrenville who can get your penalty reduced and help you secure a driving permit. We provide aggressive representation for all of our clients so you can rest easy knowing that your case is in capable hands.

Retain An Experienced Illinois DWI Lawyer

Schedule a free consultation today at our offices in Warrenville, Naperville, and Schaumburg, IL. We will be happy to sit down with you and discuss how we can help you. Our DUI attorneys have extensive experience defending clients against both misdemeanor and felony charges. As such, they can help you understand the facts surrounding your case and develop an appropriate strategy.