The costly penalties of a DUI

Drivers in Illinois who are facing DUI charges need to understand the gravity of a conviction. Not only does a DUI have legal penalties, but it also comes with consequences that may be long lasting. As a result, getting legal representation should be a priority.

According to the Illinois State Police, hundreds of fatalities occur every year due to driving under the influence, and the penalties for a conviction may include fines, the loss of driving privileges, community service and possible jail time. Fines can be as high as $25,000 for an aggravated or third DUI conviction, and the length of imprisonment can be as much as 12 years for some drivers. All DUI convictions take away full driving privileges for a minimum of one year, and some convicts may need to serve anywhere from 240 to 480 community service hours.

Money Crashers discusses other financial and long-term consequences of a DUI. Some potential costs include:

  • Towing or impoundment fees
  • Fees for alcohol education classes
  • Probation fees
  • Ignition interlock device fees
  • Attorney’s fees

Once a driver has a license again, there is also a sharp increase in auto insurance. Getting a DUI puts drivers in the high-risk category, so premiums typically increase substantially for a number of years.

One’s job or career may also be in jeopardy due to a DUI. Jail time results in lost wages and perhaps a job loss. Even without jail time, a license suspension makes it much harder to get to and from work. Some professionals, such as attorneys and doctors, may also lose their licenses. A DUI also results in a loss of certain liberties, such as the ability to be a youth mentor, apply for a college scholarship or be a childcare provider.