The holidays are right around the corner—and that means it’s time to brush up on Chicago’s DUI laws and the consequences of a drunk driving conviction in Illinois.

What Are Chicago’s DUI Laws?

Legal Blood-Alcohol Content in Chicago

In Chicago, as well as elsewhere in Illinois, you’re considered “drunk” by law if your blood-alcohol concentration is at or above 0.08 percent. Illegal BAC limits vary based on what type of license you have and what type of driving you’re doing, though. If you’re under the age of 21, anything over 0.0 BAC is illegal.

The legal limit for a school bus driver is also 0.0 BAC.

If you’re driving on a commercial driver’s license, anything over 0.04 is illegal; if you’re a driver age 21 or over, anything over 0.08 (and including 0.08) is illegal.

What is Driving Under the Influence, or DUI?

The law says that driving under the influence is defined as operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol. The law also extends to other drugs, including cannabis (marijuana) that’s been prescribed for medical purposes or that you’re using illegally, intoxicating compounds, and methamphetamine. (If you’re under the influence of illegal drugs or you’re impaired by medication, the state can charge you with DUI regardless of the substance’s concentration in your bloodstream.)

Penalties for DUI Convictions

Depending on whether this is your first, second, or subsequent offense, your penalties will vary.

If you receive your first DUI this holiday season, you can be convicted of a Class A misdemeanor. You’ll lose your driving privileges for at least one year (two years, if you’re under 21), and your vehicle registration will be suspended.

If you were transporting a child under the age of 16 at the time of the incident, you could be imprisoned for up to 6 months, face a mandatory minimum fine of $1,000, and be forced to serve 25 days of community service in a program that benefits children.

The penalties become harsher with each subsequent DUI conviction.

Do You Need to Talk to a Chicago DUI Lawyer?

If you need to talk to a Chicago DUI lawyer who serves Skokie and Rolling Meadows as well, we’re here to help. Call us at 847-920-4540 for a free DUI case evaluation. The sooner you call, the sooner we can begin building your defense.

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