Punishments for Drunk Driving in Chicago

Lerner & Rowe Injury Attorneys
Drunk Driving in Chicago Repercussions
Contact us when a victim of drunk driving in Chicago

Caught for drunk driving in Chicago? Expect harsh penalties. Even a first offense can result in a loss of driving privileges. Drivers are legally considered to be under the influence if they have a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or more.

However, a driver with a BAC of between .05 and .08 percent can also receive a conviction of drunk driving if other evidence demonstrates the driver’s impairment.

This blog supports safe driving. Please call a cab or use a ride-sharing service app when intoxicated. Be safe. Your life means more than making wrong choices. 


When charged with DUI, drivers not only face a license suspension if convicted in the courts, but they also face action through the Secretary of State’s Office. Statutory summary suspensions are separate from the judicial proceedings and based on what happened during the person’s arrest.

A driver who fails BAC testing will automatically lose their license 46 days after they arrested. If it is their first offense, they will lose their license for six months. However, they may be eligible for a monitoring device permit. If it is a subsequent offense within the past five years, they lose their driving privileges for one year.

When a driver refuses to submit to a BAC test, the loss of driving privileges is even longer. A first-offense driver is still eligible for a monitoring device driving permit, however, now they lose their license for 12 months. For second or subsequent offenses, the loss of license is three years.

Expect monetary expenses as well with a suspension. A court may order a driver convicted of DUI to pay the cost of the BAC chemical testing, which can be as much as $500. And the monitoring devices used for permits have multiple charges associated with them, including an installation fee of $85, an $80 monthly rental of the device, and $30 monthly fees. Further, driving under the influence factors into a civil case for any damages sustained by other parties.

Penalties for Drunk Driving in Chicago

DUI conviction not only results in a suspension but also fines and higher insurance premiums with the reinstatement. If a crash happened, a driver can expect increased penalties.

First offense conviction results in a loss of license for one-year and suspension of vehicle registration. If the person’s BAC was .16+, there is a minimum fine of $500 and 100 hours of community service.

A second offense conviction:

  • Minimum 5 day jail term
  • 240 hours of community service;
  • Five-year loss of license;
  • Suspension of vehicle registration.

If the person’s BAC was .16 or higher, will serve a mandatory two days’ imprisonment and have to pay $1,250.

A third conviction of a DUI is classified as aggravated. It also results in loss of driving privileges for 10 years. If the person’s BAC was .16 or higher, there is a mandatory 90 days in jail and minimum $2,500 in fines.

More than three DUI convictions can mean a loss of driving privileges for life, prison sentences, and fines.

More about Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys

If you have been arrested or ticketed for drunk driving in Chicago, contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you and remember, no fee unless we win. Don’t wait! Our office hours range from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, but we also answer our phones at 844-977-1900 24/7. You can reach us through our LiveChat, or our online form. We offer free consults too.