The State of DUI Law in Illinois

How new laws in Illinois affect drivers facing the consequences of a DUI arrest and conviction

By Kevin Salzman | Reviewed by Canaan Suitt, J.D. | Last updated on June 29, 2023

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It’s no secret that a conviction for driving under the influence in Illinois, or any other state, can create serious hardships for you and your family.

Aside from the fines, court costs, and jail time that can come with a DUI conviction, a driver with a DUI charge can expect to pay attorney fees, face license suspension, and be required to install a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (IID) in each of their motor vehicles.

For repeat DUI offenses in Illinois, driving privileges could be revoked for an offender’s entire life. All of this can make it difficult for DUI offenders—even first-time offenders—to keep a job, meet their familial obligations, and satisfy their court obligations.

New DUI Laws and What They Mean for You

New laws that took effect on January 1, 2016 aim to provide some relief for Illinois drivers who’ve been convicted of a DUI.

Under the new laws, Illinois residents and licensees with DUI convictions in their past may be able to obtain limited driving privileges. Here’s a brief summary of the changes to Illinois’ DUI laws:

Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP)

First-time DUI offenders may now apply for and receive an MDDP, which would allow the offender to continue to drive so long as the vehicle is equipped with an ignition interlock device to measure blood alcohol levels.

Application for the permit must be made within the first 30 days of the statutory summary suspension period.

Restricted Driving Permit

Repeat DUI offenders who are prohibited from driving for life may apply for a restricted driving permit after serving a five-year revocation period, as well as proving abstinence from alcohol for three years.

The permit enables the offender to drive a vehicle that is equipped with an ignition interlock device for measuring blood alcohol concentration.

Those who have a second DUI or a third DUI may also obtain a restricted permit, as well as drive vehicles equipped with interlock devices for five years. If no violations or convictions for DUI occur during this time, driving privileges are fully restored at the conclusion of the five-year period.

New Driver’s License

Sometimes, an Illinois resident cannot get a driver’s license in Illinois because their license was revoked in another state. Under the new law, Illinois residents who have resided in Illinois for 10 years can now request an administrative hearing to obtain permission to get a driver’s license.

Find an Experienced Illinois DUI Defense Attorney

DUI laws in Illinois are constantly changing as the state legislature enacts new laws to protect the public from drunk driving while attempting to remain fair to the drivers accused and convicted.

Therefore, if you are facing criminal charges for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, it’s always advisable to contact a law firm and speak with an attorney who is knowledgeable about current laws and DUI penalties. This advice can assist you in determining how to proceed in your DUI case or what relief you may be entitled to following a conviction.

If you’d like additional information about this area of the law—including implied consent laws; field sobriety tests and chemical testing for blood alcohol content (BAC); see our DUI/DWI law overview.

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