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The penalties of a first offense DUI

The summer is coming to a close and young people are preparing to return to college. For many, the college lifestyle is a thrilling time full of friends, new experiences, enlightening education and rewarding challenges. For many students, the college lifestyle also often comes with drinking alcohol.

It's often easy for students to lose sight of how serious alcohol related charges are when they are around a culture of partying. If you have a child returning to college this fall, make sure they know the consequences that can accompany poor decisions and alcoholic beverages.

More than a simple citation

Drinking and driving is never acceptable under any circumstance. Despite this, college students constitute a major portion of Illinois' DUIs each year. Several students see a DUI as a simple ticket from the police and maybe a night in the drunk tank. It is critical to inform your college student that the consequences of driving while intoxicated are much deeper than that.

In Illinois, even a first-time offender with no previous record can anticipate facing all the following consequences:

  • Jailtime- You can expect to be brought to jail after being stopped for a DUI. A person's first DUI is a Class A misdemeanor which comes with up to a year of additional jailtime if convicted.
  • Loss of license- A first offense DUI also means license suspension for at least 6 months.
  • Monitoring Device Driving Permit - In certain situations, an offender will also be required to install a breathalyzer into their vehicle.
  • Fines- DUIs are expensive. A conviction means an up to $2,500 fine with a minimum of a $500 penalty. This does not include surcharges, court costs, reinstatement process costs and alcohol awareness course fees.
  • Alcohol awareness course - The majority of the time, an offender will be required to be educated in an alcohol awareness course.
  • Criminal record- If convicted, a DUI permanently appears as a criminal conviction on the offender's record and will be considered in all future transgressions with the law.
  • College admission- Many colleges do not tolerate a DUI on a student's record and will deny them admission to their institution.
  • Career opportunities- In addition to being hamstrung by a criminal conviction on their record, a DUI will likely bar an offender from any career that requires employees to regularly drive.

These are common outcomes that accompany a DUI conviction but is by no means a complete list. Every situation is different, and extenuating circumstances can mean more or harsher penalties.

Don't let your child approach the notion of a DUI with a blasé attitude. Take a moment to speak to them before they leave for school this year. The consequences of even one slip up are severe and will follow them for years to come.

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