DUI – First Offense

Under Illinois law, a first DUI is a Class A Misdemeanor, unless there are extenuating circumstances as specified in the below discussion. The punishment for a Class A Misdemeanor generally ranges from court supervision to a conviction with up to 364 days in jail and a $2500 fine, plus court costs and other statutory fees.

A sentence of court supervision allows the DUI offender the opportunity to avoid a DUI conviction, and to obtain a qualified dismissal of the charge(s) upon successful completion of the terms of the sentence. 730 ILCS 5/5-1-21 states:

"Supervision" means a disposition of conditional and revocable release without probationary supervision, but under such conditions and reporting requirements as are imposed by the court, at the successful conclusion of which disposition the defendant is discharged and a judgment dismissing the charges is entered.

Additionally, 730 ILCS 5/5-6-3.1 states in pertinent part:

(e) At the conclusion of the period of supervision, if the court determines that the defendant has successfully complied with all of the conditions of supervision, the court shall discharge the defendant and enter a judgment dismissing the charges.

Since Illinois law only revokes driving privileges upon a conviction for DUI, a sentence of court supervision allows the offender to avoid the revocation of his or her driving privileges. (Note: the offender may still receive a limited summary suspension for failing or refusing a chemical test.)

Essentially, a defendant may only receive one sentence of court supervision in a lifetime. A Defendant may not receive a sentence of court supervision if he or she has ever previously received a sentence of court supervision for DUI, or any conviction for a DUI, or if there has been a reduction from a DUI to reckless driving, and said reduction was as a result of a plea agreement. Pursuant to 730 ILCS 5/5-6-1, a person is only eligible for court supervision as follows:

(c) The court may, upon a plea of guilty or a stipulation by the defendant of the facts supporting the charge or a finding of guilt, defer further proceedings and the imposition of a sentence, and enter an order for supervision of the defendant***

(d) The provisions of paragraph (c) shall not apply to a defendant charged with violating Section 11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code or a similar provision of a local ordinance when the defendant has previously been:

(1) convicted for a violation of Section 11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code or a similar provision of a local ordinance or any similar law or ordinance of another state; or
(2) assigned supervision for a violation of Section 11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code or a similar provision of a local ordinance or any similar law or ordinance of another state; or
(3) pleaded guilty to or stipulated to the facts supporting a charge or a finding of guilty to a violation of Section 11-503 of the Illinois Vehicle Code or a similar provision of a local ordinance or any similar law or ordinance of another state, and the plea or stipulation was the result of a plea agreement.

In addition to fines and court costs, all sentences for DUI must include an alcohol evaluation and alcohol counseling. 625 ILCS 5/11-501(e) states:

"(e) After a finding of guilt and prior to any final sentencing, or an order for supervision, for an offense based upon an arrest for a violation of this Section or a similar provision of a local ordinance, individuals shall be required to undergo a professional evaluation to determine if an alcohol, drug, or intoxicating compound abuse problem exists and the extent of the problem, and undergo the imposition of treatment as appropriate. Programs conducting these evaluations shall be licensed by the Department of Human Services. The cost of any professional evaluation shall be paid for by the individual required to undergo the professional evaluation.

Further, the court costs include a DUI technology fee of $500.00 - $1000.00, as per
625 ILCS 5/11-501.01, which states as follows:

"(f) In addition to any other penalties and liabilities, a person who is found guilty of or pleads guilty to violating Section 11-501, including any person placed on court supervision for violating Section 11-501, shall be assessed $500, payable to the circuit clerk, who shall distribute the money as follows: 20% to the law enforcement agency that made the arrest, and 80% shall be forwarded to the State Treasurer for deposit into the General Revenue Fund. If the person has been previously convicted of violating Section 11-501 or a similar provision of a local ordinance, the fine shall be $1,000. In the event that more than one agency is responsible for the arrest, the amount payable to law enforcement agencies shall be shared equally. Any moneys received by a law enforcement agency under this subsection (f) shall be used to purchase law enforcement equipment that will assist in the prevention of alcohol related criminal violence throughout the State. This shall include, but is not limited to, in-car video cameras, radar and laser speed detection devices, and alcohol breath testers. Any moneys received by the Department of State Police under this subsection (f) shall be deposited into the State Police DUI Fund and shall be used to purchase law enforcement equipment that will assist in the prevention of alcohol related criminal violence throughout the State."

The length of the sentence for court supervision can be as long as two years. See 730 ILCS 5/5-6-3.1 (b) ("The period of supervision shall be reasonable under all of the circumstances of the case, but may not be longer than 2 years,…")

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