If accused of a DUI or driving under the influence, no matter the state you are accused in it is a series offense. The punishments of driving under the influence can range depending on a number of things, today we will discuss what those punishments are if one is found guilty of their 3rd DUI. But before we can discuss that we need to first identify what exactly a DUI or driving under the influence is in the court of law.
What is Considered Driving Under the Influence?
The law defines driving under the influence or a DUI as operating a motor vehicle while being impaired by either alcohol or drugs, these drugs can be marijuana or cannabis even if it is prescribed for medical reasons, or other intoxicating substances such as methamphetamine. In most states including Illinois you are deemed to be under the influence is you have a BAC or blood alcohol content of .08 and higher. Or if you are on any illegal drugs or substances, and if you are impaired by certain medications. The reason the limit of blood alcohol content is set at .08 is because at that level of intoxication the person operating the vehicle is 11 times more likely to be seriously injured or killed in a single-car accident than a person who is not under the influence of any drugs or alcohol. This does not apply to everyone though, if a driver is under the legal age to drink most times it is 21 years of age there is a no tolerance policy. So, no matter what their blood alcohol content may be, they will be accused of driving under the influence. And for commercial vehicle drivers like taxi drivers, bus drivers, or truck drivers the limit for blood alcohol content is .04.
What are the Penalties for Driving Under the Influence?
The penalties for a DUI or driving under the influence will range depending on what offense this may be for that driver and a few other factors. For a first-time offender they will have a suspension of their license, which is mandatory. DUI laws in Illinois states that a first time offender will also have to have a BAIID or “breath alcohol ignition interlock device” installed in their vehicle to ensure they are within the legal limits of driving before starting the vehicle.
A person who is a repeat offender which can be second and even their third time convicted of a DUI have much stricter penalties. In these cases, the offender will almost always see jail time and financial fines, possibly even have their driving freedoms limited or taken away completely. A DUI could be a felony in certain cases, these could be if the driver had prior traffic violations on their record or if they were accused of driving under the influence without a valid driver’s license. These penalties increase if there were any injuries or deaths due to an accident caused by a person driving under the influence. So, if one is accused of their 3rd DUI, they are going to be facing jail time and fines, and more than likely will have their license revoked. The penalties of a DUI charge may also affect other parts of one’s life not including the jail time and or fines. These could be:
- Loss of certain job opportunities and employment
- Some educational opportunities – many universities or colleges will deny one admission id they have a DUI on their record.
- Insurance – being convicted of a DUI will make you “high-risk” for insurance companies which will lead to increased prices on ones premium or loss of insurance as a whole.
- Travel restrictions – if one has a DUI many times car rental companies will not rent to them, or if you want to live in another country sometimes they will not allow you entry or citizenship if you have a DUI or other types of convictions.
- Renewing your license – sometimes if you want to renew your license but have a DUI on your record you may be required to take the driving test again.
- Other burdens – some other burdens one may face after being convicted of driving under the influence could be:
- Repeated drug and alcohol assessments and some remedial courses may be necessary
- Mandatory administrative proceedings
- Installment of a BAIID or breath alcohol ignition interlock device on one’s vehicle
- The accused may also have their vehicle impounded
As you can see the penalties for driving under the influence can be severe and life altering. If you think about driving while under the influence you should think again and figure out another way to get where you want to go. If you have already been convicted of a DUI then you need to reach out to a DUI lawyer today so they can help try to get some of the charges lessened or dropped completely. These lawyers are skilled at looking at the facts of the case and if any mistakes were made on the arresting officer’s behalf. You do not want to go through this process alone, there are many skilled DUI lawyers that can help you put this case behind you and move on from the event. Some advice, do not drink and drive, but if you already have been convicted of doing so reach out to a DUI lawyer today so they can help.