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DUI With a Child in the Car Carries Extra Penalties in Illinois

 Posted on September 24, 2018 in DUI

Aurora felony DUI defense lawyerBeing charged for driving under the influence (DUI) is upsetting enough, no matter the circumstances surrounding the arrest. However, if you are arrested for drunk driving with a child in the car, the trouble multiplies. Under Illinois law, DUI with a passenger under age 16 in the vehicle carries additional penalties, including fines and community service. 

First-Time DUI Charge With Passenger Under Age 16

A first-time DUI offender generally has a good chance of being granted court supervision. During the supervision period, which typically lasts one year or more, they will be required to attend a drug/alcohol education course and probably perform community service. They usually will not have to pay a large fine or serve time in jail. At the end of the supervision period, as long as they meet all the requirements set by the judge, their case will be dismissed, and they will not have a DUI conviction on their record.

However, the State will typically impose heavier penalties if a DUI involved a passenger under age 16. A first conviction for DUI committed while transporting a child carries the following additional penalties:

  • A minimum fine of $1,000.
  • 25 days of community service in a program benefiting children.

DUI With a Child in the Car Can Be Charged as a Felony

The penalties are even higher if, while driving under the influence, a person is involved in a car accident that results in bodily harm to a child. This is considered Aggravated DUI and is a Class 4 felony, subject to these additional penalties:

  • A mandatory minimum fine of $2,500.
  • 25 days of community service in a program benefiting children.

Examples of Actual Sentences for DUI with Children in the Car

In one recent Illinois case, a woman was arrested for drunk driving after picking up four children from a birthday party. Her blood-alcohol concentration tested at .19, more than twice the legal limit. She was sentenced to home detention for six months, meaning she has to wear an electronic tracking device around her ankle and is only allowed to leave her home to go to work or other approved places, such as medical appointments. In addition, she will be on probation for two years, and she must perform 200 hours (25 days) of community service and complete a drug/alcohol education program. 

In another case, a woman admitted to being under the influence of a painkiller and a sleep aid while driving with her four-year-old child in the car. The woman ran a stop sign and crashed into a crossing car, but no one was injured. The woman pleaded guilty to aggravated DUI and was sentenced to six months in county jail (which could be modified to electronic home detention), three years of probation, 200 hours of public service, and a $3,500 fine. This sentence took into account the woman’s prior convictions for misdemeanor DUI and driving with a revoked license.  

Seek Counsel from a DuPage County DUI Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with DUI while transporting a child, the penalties you face are more serious than a simple DUI. Get advice from an experienced Naperville DUI defense attorney before pleading guilty or agreeing to a plea bargain. The Law Office of Patricia Magaña is committed to helping our clients recover from a DUI arrest as quickly and painlessly as possible. Contact us at 630-448-2001 for a free consultation. Se Habla Español.






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