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Why you should avoid a first DUI conviction

Penalties for a first DUI conviction in the state of Illinois are harsh. But second convictions? They’re even harsher. This is one of the reasons why you should avoid a first conviction.

While you may assume that you’ll never get a second conviction after experiencing a DUI arrest, it’s important to remember that you’ll be treading on very thin ice.  Nobody plans to be arrested a second time, but it can happen. And the penalties for a second DUI are so harsh in Illinois, you won’t be able to drive for five years if convicted.

With this in mind, if you can simply avoid a first conviction, you will protect yourself from a world of trouble down the line. Naturally, the only sure way to avoid a DUI conviction is to never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you’ve already been arrested, however, the second-best thing you can do is hire an experienced and reputable DUI defense lawyer.

Here are the penalties for a first and second DUI conviction in Illinois:

Penalties for a first DUI conviction

  • Class A misdemeanor
  • Driving privileges revoked for a minimum of 1 year (or 2 years if under 21)
  • Suspension of vehicle registration
  • When BAC is .16 or higher, minimum fine of $500 (in addition to other fines and penalties) plus minimum of 100 hours community service

Penalties for a second DUI conviction

  • Class A misdemeanor
  • Imprisonment for a minimum of 5 days or 240 hours of community service
  • Driving privileges revoked for a minimum of 5 years (when second conviction is within 20 years of the first)
  • Suspension of vehicle registration
  • When BAC is .16 or higher, minimum fine of $1,250 (in addition to other fines and penalties) plus imprisonment for a minimum of 2 days

For a first or second DUI conviction, additional fines, imprisonment, and community service will be imposed when DUI convictions are committed while transporting a child under age 16 and/or when an accident inflicting bodily harm results. See the Illinois DUI Fact Book for more information.

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