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Illinois DUI Laws

Illinois DUI laws are complex and change frequently. Our Illinois DUI attorneys know the DUI/DWI laws inside and out. Contact our Chicago DUI Lawyers today at (312) 466-9466 to improve your odds of winning a DUI case.

Illinois lawmakers have been very active in passing legislation to combat driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Here is a short history of Illinois DUI laws, highlighting important DUI laws in Illinois passed between 1958 and the end of 2000.

Effective Jan. 1, 1958

  • Established .15 as the illegal BAC limit.

Effective Jan. 1, 1967

  • Lowered the illegal BAC limit from .15 to .10.

Effective Jan. 1, 1980

  • Established 21 as the minimum drinking age.

Effective Jan. 1, 1984

  • Established mandatory imprisonment of 48 hours or 10 days of community service for a second or subsequent DUI conviction.
  • Expanded the Crime Victims Compensation Act to include DUI victims.
  • Required courts to notify the Secretary of States office of DUI case dispositions, court supervisions and other serious offenses.

Effective Jan. 1, 1986

  • Established the Statutory Summary Suspension Program to allow for the automatic suspension of a persons driving privileges for refusing to submit to or failing chemical testing following a DUI arrest.
  • Expanded the Crime Victims Bill of Rights to include DUI victims.
  • Provided that any person who refuses to submit to chemical testing while operating a vehicle in another state will have his/her driving privileges suspended.

Effective Sept. 12, 1986

  • Provided that any driver under age 21 convicted of a second DUI will have his/her driving privileges revoked until he/she turns 21 or for one additional year, whichever is longer.

Effective Jan. 1, 1988

  • Provided that any driver under age 21 convicted of a second DUI will have his/her driving privileges revoked for a minimum of 3 years. If convicted of a third or subsequent DUI, a driver will have his/her driving privileges revoked for a minimum of 6 years.

Effective Sept. 21, 1989

  • Provided that any driver who refuses to submit to chemical testing for a second or subsequent time will have his/her driving privileges suspended for a minimum of 2 years. Offenders may not apply for a Restricted Driving Permit for the first six months of the suspension period.

Effective Jan. 1, 1991

  • Provided that any driver found at fault in a vehicle crash where serious personal injury or death occurs and who refuses to submit to or fails chemical testing (.10 BAC or more) will have his/her driving privileges suspended.

Effective July 1, 1991

  • Provided that any driver who violates the Cannabis Control Act or the Illinois Controlled Substances Act while operating a motor vehicle will have his/her drivers license cancelled.

Effective Nov. 3, 1992

  • Established the Crime Victims Rights Constitutional Amendment, which guarantees and protects the rights of crime victims, including those victimized by DUI.

Effective Jan. 1, 1993

  • Prohibited any driver convicted of DUI within the last 10 years (rather than 5 years) from receiving court supervision.
  • Established the Child Endangerment Law, which states that any driver convicted of DUI while transporting a person age 16 or younger is subject to a minimum fine and mandatory community service in a program benefiting children.

Effective Jan. 1, 1994

  • Provided that any driver under age 21 convicted of illegal transportation of alcohol will have his/her driving privileges suspended for 1 year. For a second or subsequent conviction, a driver will have his/her driving privileges revoked.

Effective Jan. 1, 1995

  • Established the "Use It & Lose It" Law, which states that any driver under age 21 caught with any trace of alcohol in his/her system will lose his/her driving privileges.

Effective July 21, 1995

  • Prohibited a driver from receiving an RDP if he received a statutory summary suspension for a subsequent alcohol offense within five years for refusing to submit to chemical testing.

Effective Jan. 1, 1997

  • Established a lifetime limit of one court supervision for a DUI offense.
  • Provided that results of a drivers blood or urine tests, performed for the purpose of determining the content of alcohol, other drugs or both, conducted during medical treatment in a hospital emergency room, may be reported to the Illinois State Police or local law enforcement agencies.

Effective July 2, 1997

  • Lowered the illegal BAC limit from .10 to .08.

Effective Dec. 1, 1997

  • Increased the drivers license revocation period to 5 years for a driver convicted of a second DUI. Increased the revocation period to 10 years for a third or subsequent conviction within 20 years.
  • Increased the drivers license revocation period to 2 years for a driver convicted of reckless homicide (DUI).

Effective Jan. 1, 1998

  • Established a zero tolerance law for school bus drivers. A school bus driver caught driving a school bus with any trace of alcohol in his/her system will lose his/her school bus driver permit.
  • Increased the maximum fines for criminal penalties and the penalty for a petty offense to $1,000, a misdemeanor up to $2,500 and a felony up to $25,000.

Effective Jan. 1, 1999

  • Prohibited a driver with a fourth DUI conviction on his/her record from applying for a drivers license.
  • Increased criminal penalties for a person driving on a suspended or revoked drivers license and who is convicted of DUI during the suspension or revocation period. The offenders vehicle is subject to seizure by local law enforcement.
  • Increased the statutory summary suspension period to 3 years (from 2 years) for a repeat DUI offender who refuses to submit to or fails to complete chemical testing.
  • Established a $250 statutory summary suspension and revocation fee for a driver charged with a second or subsequent DUI offense.
  • Increased the period of time in which the vehicle of a suspected DUI offender may be impounded to a graduated scale depending on the number of times the offender has been previously arrested for DUI.
  • Prohibited a driver charged with driving on a suspended or revoked drivers license for a previous DUI from receiving court supervision if he/she has been convicted of or received court supervision for driving on a suspended or revoked drivers license within the last 10 years.
  • Included the term "intoxicating compounds," such as sniffing paint and glue, in Illinois DUI law.
  • Required hospital emergency rooms to report chemical test results of a person treated in a vehicle crash to Illinois State Police or law enforcement officials upon request.

Effective Jan. 1, 2000

  • Mandated the Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) for certain drivers convicted of DUI.
  • Prohibited a driver with an out-of-state DUI or a reckless driving conviction from receiving court supervision for the same offense in Illinois.

Effective Oct. 1, 2000

  • Required all court supervisions, regardless of offense, to be reported to the Secretary of States office.

For more recent Illinois DUI laws, see DUI Laws in Illinois Post-2000.

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