Multiple DUI

No one expects to be charged with a DUI more than once. If you have a prior DUI, maybe you’ve been more careful about only having one or two drinks and making sure you don’t feel intoxicated when getting behind the wheel — but you ended up getting pulled over anyway.

Some drivers may end up with second or subsequent DUI charges because they mistakenly believe that if their BAC is below .08 — or the equivalent of a couple of drinks, depending on the individual — that they can’t get arrested for DUI.

However, the law in Illinois allows a police officer to pull you over and to arrest you if there is any evidence suggesting you were impaired, even when your BAC was below the legal limit.

If you’ve been charged with your second, third, or subsequent DUI offense in Illinois, you may face serious and lasting penalties. Under Illinois law, DUI penalties become more severe as you acquire additional offenses on your record. You may even be charged with a felony.

Therefore, it is imperative when you are arrested for DUI and have prior offenses on your record to have a great Chicago DUI attorney in your corner. O’Meara Law LLC will fight to get your charged dismissed or to minimize the effects of multiple DUIs on your record and your driver’s license.

Defining DUI in Illinois

Any number of factors can result in a police officer stopping your car, even if you haven’t had much—or anything—to drink. A police officer may pull you over if you’re showing signs of impairment, such as:

  • Weaving or swerving on the road
  • Straddling or crossing the centerline or lane marker
  • Making wide turns
  • Nearly hitting another vehicle or an object
  • Speeding or driving much slower than the posted speed limit
  • Being slouched behind the wheel
  • Having your face pressed up to the windshield, indicating your vision might be blurred

If those signs of impairment are coupled with any amount of alcohol in your body, you may be charged with DUI. You also may be charged if you:

  • Drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or above if you’re 21 or older
  • Drive with any amount of alcohol in your body if you’re under 21
  • Drive under the influence of drugs, including prescription drugs or medical marijuana

Penalties for Multiple DUI Offenses

Multiple DUI charges can have an even greater impact than first-time DUIs. From requiring you to serve jail or prison time to costing as much as tens of thousands of dollars, they can haunt you for a lifetime.

Illinois’s system for punishing those who drive under the influence depends on a number of factors, including a driver’s history. The penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol are severe and can have a significant impact on your work, health, and life.

The statutory penalties for second or subsequent DUIs in Illinois include:

2nd Offense

This is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by:

  • Up to 1 year in jail
  • Minimum imprisonment of 5 days or 240 hours of community service
  • Revocation of driving privileges
  • Fines of up to $2,500
  • Suspension of vehicle registration

3rd Offense (Aggravated DUI)

This is a Class 4 felony punishable by:

  • 1 to 3 years in prison
  • Revocation of driving privileges
  • Fines of up to $25,000
  • Suspension of vehicle registration

4th Offense (Aggravated DUI)

This is a non-probational Class 2 felony punishable by:

  • 3 to 7 years in prison
  • Revocation of driving privileges
  • Fines of up to $25,000
  • Suspension of vehicle registration

5th Offense (Aggravated DUI)

This is a Class 1 felony punishable by:

  • 4 to 15 years in prison
  • Revocation of driving privileges
  • Fines of up to $25,000
  • Suspension of vehicle registration

6th or Subsequent Offense (Aggravated DUI)

This is a Class X felony punishable by:

  • 6 to 30 years in prison
  • Revocation of driving privileges
  • Fines of up to $25,000
  • Suspension of vehicle registration

If you are caught driving under the influence with a BAC of .16 or more, are carrying a passenger who is under 16 years of age, injure another person while driving under the influence, or are knowingly driving a car that is not covered by liability insurance, you may receive penalties in addition to those listed above, such as extension of your jail or prison sentence and additional mandatory fines.

Aggravated DUI

Any DUI offense that results in a felony is classified as an aggravated DUI, even for a first-time DUI. In the case of an aggravated DUI, mandatory terms of imprisonment or community service cannot be suspended or reduced. The following factors contribute to the classification of aggravated DUI:

  • Driving a school bus carrying a person aged 18 or younger
  • Driving a vehicle-for-hire with passenger(s)
  • Involvement in an accident which causes bodily harm
  • Transporting a child under 16 years of age
  • Bodily harm of a child under 16 years of age as a result of an accident
  • Driving without a valid driver’s license or permit
  • Driving without vehicle liability insurance
  • Driving in a school zone

Aggravated DUIs can result in longer imprisonment and greater fines. But an Illinois DUI defense attorney can help you to get your charges dismissed or reduced. O’Meara Law LLC will fight to help you avoid prison time, work to reduce your fines, and push to allow you to keep your driver’s license or to obtain restricted driving privileges.

Call Chicago DUI Defense Lawyer Michael O’Meara For Help

If you’ve been arrested for your second or subsequent DUI offense, your future may depend on getting representation from a skilled defense lawyer. With the help of a great lawyer, you may be able to avoid a conviction and the resulting consequences — which can affect your life for years to come.

Chicago DUI defense lawyer Michael O’Meara has two decades of legal experience that includes several years as a Cook County assistant state’s attorney and more than a decade of criminal defense work. He has tried countless DUI cases from both sides of the system, which gives him an advantageous perspective when evaluating a prosecutor’s case against you.

O’Meara has in-depth knowledge of how DUI cases are constructed by prosecutors, what types of evidence they use, and how to pinpoint the flaws in the case that might lead to your acquittal or a reduction in your charges and penalties. He also has a passionate commitment to justice for every client that drives him to fight for the best possible result in each case.

Call O’Meara Law LLC today at 312-909-0706 to schedule a consultation about your DUI case. O’Meara will provide a straightforward explanation of your legal options and what he can do for you.