In following federal requirements, all states must enforce a minimum blood alcohol content (BAC) limit of .08 percent. In the case of a first arrest, the convicted person will suffer serious consequences such as the loss of his driver’s license, hefty fines and penalties, possible probation, counseling, time in custody, and the completion of community service hours. However, the penalties for a second DUI conviction can escalate sharply.
A conviction for a second DUI will likely result in a misdemeanor on the person’s record. The offender will generally need to serve five days of jail time or complete 240 hours of volunteer work. The state may revoke his or her driver’s license for at least five years. If the driver’s BAC exceeded .16 percent, the driver will need to spend an extra two days in jail and pay an additional fine of $1,250. If the driver had a minor under the age of 16 is in the vehicle, the state can charge the driver with an aggravated DUI, which is a class 4 felony. After a second conviction for drinking and driving involving an accident that injures the child, the state will likely charge the driver with a class 2 felony, which can result in an additional fine of $5,000 on top of any other fees and require completion of 25 days of volunteer work.
A person convicted of two DUIs may face additional consequences. The conviction will likely remain on that individual’s driving record permanently. He or she will probably need to take time away from employment and may experience job loss. The offender will likely need to complete alcohol education and/or counseling in order to get reinstatement of driver’s privileges. The offender might also need to have an ignition interlock device installed on his or her vehicle at the offender’s own expense. In addition, the driver’s auto insurance company can place the driver in a high-risk category for three years and increase the rates paid during that period. Lastly, the state may suspend the registration of the driver’s motor vehicle.
According to the Illinois Secretary of State’s website nearly 3,500 individuals in the state of Illinois had their driver’s license revoked for a second DUI conviction in 2010.
Zero tolerance applies to select groups of drivers: minors under the age of 21 and school bus drivers. A zero tolerance law means that these people must register a BAC of .00 percent when driving. For a first-time DUI offense, the state may suspend the individual’s driving privileges for three months or for up to six months if the driver refused to take a breathalyzer test. However, in the event of future DUI charges, the convicted person will lose his license for one year or for two years if the driver refused to take a breathalyzer test.