First of all, you shouldn’t be getting a DUI violation in the first place. Drunk driving is dangerous — not just for you, but for everyone else around you. Chicago and the rest of Illinois treat DUI violations very seriously. If you do get slapped with a DUI violation, you’ll get more than a suspended license, so prepare for harsh consequences.
Your Car Insurance Will Skyrocket
When you get convicted of a DUI violation, you’ll be forced to switch your standard car insurance policy to a more expensive high-risk policy commonly referred to as an SR-22. The extra cost serves as a form of punishment and as a reflection to your blatant disregard of driving safety when you chose to drive inebriated. An SR-22 will require you to pay higher premiums. Expect to pay up to $1,500 a year for your car — more if you drive several vehicles. You will need to maintain the SR-22 for five years, but you’ll still need to appeal to switch to your old policy.
You Need to Take a Test to Start Your Car
You’ll need a Monitored Device Driving Permit (MDDP) to start driving while your license is still suspended. An MDDP requires you to install a built-in Breathalyzer into your car’s system. The Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) is a requirement to qualify for an MDDP, and it prevents your car from even starting if your blood alcohol concentration is above the legal limits. BAIIDs have proven to be very useful in curbing drunk driving, preventing more than 2 million car starts from intoxicated individuals. BAIIDs are installed underneath your car’s dashboard and installation can cost up to $200. You’ll also need to provide monthly maintenance to these devices, which typically require around $60-$80 a month.
Jail Time Is Possible
Even as a first-time offender, you can get jail time if circumstances warrant harsher punishment. Though you’re more likely to get a suspended sentence, in these times of political turmoil, you can get incarcerated if the judge finds you particularly disruptive or if someone higher up wants to teach you a lesson. A second DUI conviction will automatically land you in jail for five days, and you’ll need to pay a hefty $2,500 fine.
You Get Entered into the System
A DUI conviction is not something that’s easily forgotten. Even if you did, that mark on your permanent record would inform potential employers of your past behavior. This can stifle your career growth and employment options. In Chicago, a DUI violation won’t be deleted in a few years. Other states can be forgiving, but Illinois is not. That DUI conviction will forever be a blemish on your permanent record, and nothing can get rid of it short of the Governor’s pardon.
In the end, you do not want a DUI violation in Chicago. It is costly, and that mark on your permanent record will leave a dent that can affect your entire future. Stay safe and don’t drink and drive.