What Factors Will Enhance Or Aggravate A DUI Charge?
There are several aggravators and those come from the Illinois DUI statute. Having a blood alcohol level above 0.16% will aggravate a DUI charge as the fines will be more expensive. It will also be harder for the DUI defendant to get a recommendation for supervision from the prosecutor. A BAC above 0.16% also triggers a mandatory minimum one hundred hours of community service work if they are a first time offender.
Other factors can aggravate a DUI charge in the sense that the person could be charged with a felony DUI (625 ILCS 5/11-501(d)(1)). The most common aggravating factor statutorily causing an upgrade to a felony offense is driving while under the influence while at the same time driving on a suspended or revoked driver’s license. Other felony upgrades include the following:
- Driving under the influence while the vehicle being driven is not insured.
- Driving a school bus while in violation of the DUI statute.
- Driving under the influence and causing an accident that results in great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement to another.
- Driving under the influence while driving in a school speed zone when a speed limit of 20 miles per hour was in effect and someone is injured.
- Causing an accident while under the influence and someone dies.
- Driving while intoxicated a second time while someone under the age of sixteen was present in the car.
- Driving under the influence while transporting one or more passengers in a vehicle for-hire (watch out UBER drivers).
Are There Laws That Address Drivers With A BAC Below 0.08%? What Are The Laws For Commercial Drivers?
Certain drivers operating a motor vehicle in Illinois who actually have a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) below the legal limit of 0.08% may also face additional repercussions. Instances when a BAC below the legal limit of 0.08% may have additional consequences are identified below:
- A CDL holder operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) while having a BAC above 0.04% will result in the driver being disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for one year. (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, DOT. § 383.51 ).
- Refusal to submit to chemical testing while operating a CMV or non-CMV will also result in a one year disqualification.
- Even obtaining a DUI in a regular passenger vehicle while having CDL privileges will cause the driver to lose their rights to operate a CMV.
A common practice for DUI attorneys in Illinois is to recommend that their clients with CDL licenses surrender their CDL privileges so that they do not also lose their privileges to operate a passenger vehicle (non-CMV) (Class D). There is no such thing as a suspended sentence for CDL holders, so a sentence of supervision will not help a CDL holder avoid losing their CMV privileges. The driver or CDL holder will lose their right to drive a CMV for a year, but they will still be able to operate a passenger vehicle that has been equipped with a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID Device).
What Are The DUI Laws For Underage Drivers In Illinois?
Illinois drivers under the age of twenty-one years who have any amount of alcohol in their system while operating a motor vehicle are guilty of what is commonly referred to as the “zero tolerance” statute. The presence of any amount of alcohol will cause an automatic suspension of their driver’s license. An underage driver who provides chemical testing that reveals the driver’s BAC to be above 0.00%, but less than 0.08% will have their license suspended for no less than three months. This is statue (625 ILCS 5/6-208.2). The period of suspension will be longer if the underage driver refuses chemical testing (six months). The period of suspension also increases if the underage driver has previously been found guilty of violating the “zero tolerance” statute (one year if the chemical test revealed a BAC above 0.00%; two years if the repeat offender refuses chemical testing).