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ILLINOIS DUI LAW

When it comes to Illinois DUI law, here's some essential information.

Driving in an erratic fashion that gives the appearance of being impaired is always a way to get pulled over for suspicion of a DUI. But according to Illinois DUI law, you do not even have to be driving.

If you're sitting behind the wheel of a vehicle and have a blood alcohol level over the legal limit (0.08% in Illinois), you can be arrested for a DUI.

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This is often challenged as the accused will say that "they knew they were not sober enough to drive so they pulled over waiting for a friend or family member to come drive their car home for them." But the fact that the accused was behind the wheel, even in a parked car, puts them "in control" of a motor vehicle while being impaired.

Another way you may be arrested and ultimately convicted under Illinois DUI law is by the per se law.

How does the per se law relate to drunk driving charges?

It means that a conviction for drunk driving can be based solely upon a driver's blood alcohol content. This is called a "per se" law. You may not feel like you're drunk. Additionally, you may not be driving in a suspicious manner. But, if you are pulled over and your BAC (blood alcohol content) is checked and over the legal limit (0.08%), you can be arrested under Illinois DUI law.

The question that then comes up is: "If you were driving completely normally, then why were you pulled over?" The answers generally revolve around issues such as a tail light out, expired plate, or other circumstances such as "coming out of a bar", passengers yelling out a window and any other overt evidence of non-compliance with legal guidelines.

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A "per se" DUI offense can only be charged if your blood alcohol content is known since this charge is specifically having a proven alcohol level in excess of the legal limit.


Being charged with a DUI in Illinois will initiate two separate cases against you.

The first one will take place in criminal court dealing with the charge of drunk driving and involve fines, possible jail time, and other punitive measures.

The second case will be an administrative case in front of the Department of Motor Vehicles, or the DMV and will address your driver's license or suspension thereof.

Both of these court cases are complex and have specific time frames. They often take place in different locations. Unless you are familar with Illinois DUI law, a drunk driving charge will require that you have someone to represent you.

All states, including Illinois have lawyers (the prosecutors) who are representing them (The State of Illinois) in the argument against you. And not having an attorney to act as your advocate would be a mistake.

Ultimately, not having a good DUI lawyer will cost you more than it saves!

There is much at stake with DUI charges such as your driving privilege, possibility of jail, substantial fines, increased insurance rates, diminished credit score, loss of some jobs, and on and on.

Even if you're a first time offender in the state of Illinois, you may receive fines that can total more than $2,500, months in jail, and other restrictions such as ignition interlock and alcohol or substance abuse treatment courses. Each of these items can be costly, so any "damage control" an experienced lawyer can provide is money well-spent!

Find an attorney who specializes in DUIs. No matter what the profession, someone who does something everyday is always more proficient that someone who does not. And remember that the most expensive attorney is not necessarily the best.

Any time that you're charged with a crime, you need to have an advocate who is on your side. An Illinois DUI is no exception. If you are charged under Illinois DUI law, get an attorney. Your future depends on it.


The fact is that these DUI / DWI penalties may be avoided or at least minimized with the help of an experienced attorney who concentrates on DUI / DWI defense.

A skilled lawyer will challenge most evidence submitted against you in a drunk-driving case and try to create "reasonable doubt" as to your guilt.

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Having a lawyer to plead your DUI or DWI case is essential. Get the best DUI lawyer you can; one who knows the State DUI Laws, the DUI consequences, and the DUI fines and penalties for YOUR best outcome and to stay out of jail.

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Additional Resources For Drunk Driving Charges

Locate Sobriety Check Points and Speed Traps BEFORE You Get To Them!

Go to the website of your particular state to verify the drunk driving laws, penalties and fines. Changes occur in state DUI laws and this site is meant to provide general information only. Please read our disclaimer.

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Illinois DUI Quick Reference Guide If You Are Stopped 
The simplest way to avoid a DUI conviction in Illinois is to refrain from driving if you have been drinking. However, this is not always the case. Every …

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