Illinois DUI arrests: Facts and figures

Earlier this year, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White sent out the state’s DUI factbook. The document covers just about every facet of being arrested for drunk driving in Illinois.

Topics covered include BAC (blood alcohol content), driver’s license revocation (plus license suspension and reinstatement), fake IDs, interlock ignition devices, snowmobiles, open containers and much more.

As our regular Naperville criminal defense blog readers know, a conviction for driving under the influence can result in a wide range of harsh penalties, including incarceration, fines and loss of driving privileges.

Let’s take a look at what Secretary White said in the DUI Factbook about possible drunk driving penalties and related topics. First, though, let’s be clear about the four BAC categories in Illinois. If you are pulled over and tested for blood alcohol content, here are the legal thresholds in each category:

  • Drivers under age 21: .00 percent
  • School bus drivers: .00 percent
  • Commercial vehicle drivers: .04 percent
  • Drivers over age 21: .08 percent

Who is most likely to be arrested for DUI/DWI in Illinois? The average offender is male (three-quarters of those arrested are men); 34 years old (57 percent are under 35); pulled over between 11 pm and 4 am on a weekend; tested with a BAC of .16 percent (about twice the legal threshold).

If you’re pulled over and fail a chemical test, your driving privileges can be suspended for six months (though you can be eligible for a restricted driving permit). If you refuse a chemical test, your driving privileges can be suspended for a full year (again, you can be eligible for a restricted permit).

first DUI conviction can result in a revocation of your driving privileges for a full year, but if your BAC was .16 percent or more, a minimum fine of $500 and 100 hours of community service are added to the other penalties.

Of course penalties increase for any subsequent drunk driving convictions and aggravated DUI.