Illinois has very strict DUI laws. Like all states, we don’t allow drivers to operate motor vehicles with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08% or higher. Additionally, Illinois has a zero-tolerance policy for minors and alcohol. This means that minors must have a BAC of 0.00% when behind the wheel.
The penalties for DUIs in Illinois are harsh as well. Even a first offense can carry a punishment of a year in jail, loss of driving privileges, and steep fines, and the penalties get worse from there. We hope that it never comes to this, but if you have questions about what happens after a third DUI in Illinois, we have answers.
Misdemeanor and Felony DUIs
In Illinois, a DUI charge can be categorized as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances. In general, a first DUI will be charged as a misdemeanor, and the penalties will become increasingly severe with each DUI that you are charged with after that. Adding to this calculation are aggravating factors, which are factors that turn even a first offense into an aggravated, or felony, DUI. Aggravating factors in DUI include:
- Driving without insurance or a license
- Driving on a suspended license
- Causing serious injury or death
- Having two or more prior DUI violations
Note that last aggravating factor. Your third DUI violation is automatically a felony, even if nobody is injured.
Classes of Felonies
What, exactly, is a felony? It’s a crime that carries a punishment of a year or more in state prison. Felonies in Illinois are classified into five types, listed here from most severe to least severe:
- Class X Felony: Punishable by up to 60 years in prison. An example of a class X felony is aggravated criminal sexual assault.
- Class 1 Felony: Punishable by up to 30 years in prison. An example of a class 1 felony is second degree murder.
- Class 2 Felony: Punishable by up to 14 years in prison. An example of a class 2 felony is controlled substance trafficking.
- Class 3 Felony: Punishable by up to 10 years in prison. An example of a class 3 felony is involuntary manslaughter.
- Class 4 Felony: Punishable by up to 6 years in prison. An example of a class 4 felony is cyberstalking.
Penalties for a Third DUI in Illinois
Not only is a third DUI a felony in Illinois, it is among the most severe types of felonies. A third DUI is a Class 2 felony, and it carries the following punishments:
- A minimum of 10 days in jail or 480 hours of community service
- A minimum of 90 days in jail if your BAC was 0.16% or more
- A maximum of 3-7 years in jail if no aggravating factors are present
- A maximum of 7-14 years in jail if aggravating factors are present
- A minimum fine of $2,500 if your BAC was 0.16% or more
- A minimum fine of $25,000 if you had a child in the car
- A maximum fine of $25,000
In addition to jail time and fines, a third DUI in Illinois will also get your driver’s license suspended for 10 years. In order to get your license back after the suspension, you must apply for and obtain a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP) and hold it for five years. The RDP allows you to drive to a limited number of necessary places, such as work, school, and medical treatment.
In order to get an RDP, you must install an ignition interlock device (breathalyzer) in your car. The cost to use this device is $30 per month, which you are responsible for paying.
What to Do if You Get Arrested for a Third DUI in Illinois
It goes without saying that you definitely want to avoid getting a third DUI if at all possible. However, if you find yourself charged with a third DUI, the Peoria DUI attorneys at Schierer & Ritchie can help.
With a proven track record of getting DUI charges reduced or even dropped, our experienced DUI lawyers will fight for your rights. We understand that each case is unique, and we will help you every step of the way. For a free and confidential consultation with the DUI attorneys at Schierer & Ritchie, please contact us today.