Driving under the influence is something that is both highly discouraged, and against the law in Peoria, Illinois and across the nation. However, the reality is that it happens. Police know this and keep a watchful eye out for those they believe may be driving under the influence. If a person is convicted of a DUI, the penalties they face are dependent on various factors including the level of intoxication, whether or not they are considered repeat offenders, the number of convictions they have, whether the offender is under 21, and whether the DUI was concurrent with a traffic accident that resulted in a significant injury to another person.

Repeat Offenses

Repeat offenses are one of the biggest factors that can make the consequences of a DUI conviction more severe. According to Illinois State Police, even a first offense DUI can result in up to a year of lost driving privileges, a year in jail, or a fine up to $2500. A second offense within 20 years, takes away driving privileges for up to 5 years, and adds more jail time and/or community service. If a driver is convicted a third time, the offense become a Class 2 felony, which can result in the infringement of a person’s rights, such as voting, firearm ownership, and may reduce housing and job opportunities.

Aggravated DUIs

Even if a person is convicted of a DUI for the first time in Peoria, Illinois, they can be charges with a class 4 felony if someone has gotten hurt in the accident, and can face a fine up to $25,000, 12 years in prison, and be asked to complete up to 480 hours of community service, in addition to losing their license for at least a year.

Under Age DUIs

In most cases, people are arrested for DUIs if their blood alcohol content is found to be .08 or higher, although action can be taken even if they are considered impaired if their BAC is as low as .05 percent. For those who are under 21, however, there is less leeway. Since Illinois has a “zero tolerance” policy, a DUI arrest and conviction can occur for any amount of alcohol consumed, with exceptions made for prescribed medication, or alcohol consumed at a religious service. For a person under 21, the first conviction means a lost license for at least 2 years, and the offender may be imprisoned for up to a year or fined up to $2,500. The second underage conviction takes away a license for five years, and tacks on jail time and/or community service. The third conviction takes away driving privileges for 10 years, and is considered to be a Class 4 felony, and also increases both jail time and fines significantly.

If you’ve been charged with a DUI, whether it is the first time or it has happened before having a good attorney to defend you can make a big difference. In some cases arrest procedures are not followed correctly or there may be mistakes in testing that may result in the dropping of charges, or a lesser charge. In Peoria, Illinois, Watson Law offers their clients a strong DUI defense. Attorney Linda Watson is one of a handful of lawyers in the Peoria, Illinois area that has been certified by the National College for DUI Defense, a distinction only given to those highly experienced in the area. Contact us to give yourself a better chance at a brighter future, even after a DUI.

Sources: http://www.isp.state.il.us/traffic/drnkdriving.cfm, /Attorney/

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