Information for victims of drunk drivers

Information found here was taken from Illinois DUI Fact Book (2020) for your convenience. The full fact book can be found at https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/

Reckless Homicide

A person may be charged with reckless homicide if he/she operates a motor vehicle,
snowmobile, all-terrain vehicle or watercraft while under the influence that results
in the death of an individual. If convicted, the driver will serve a minimum two
years of imprisonment (possibly longer depending on the circumstances and location of the crash). If a person is driving on a suspended or revoked driver’s license
as the result of an Aggravated DUI conviction and is involved in an alcohol-related
crash where a death occurs, he/she may be charged with reckless homicide.

Legal action for the wrongful death

The Family of the individual can seek legal action under a wrongful death suit.

Learn more

Additional Consequences of DUI

  • A DUI conviction is a permanent part of an offender’s driving record.
  • The offender may lose work time.
  • The offender is required to complete an alcohol/drug evaluation and an
    alcohol/drug remedial education course or substance abuse treatment program
    before driving privileges are reinstated.
  • The offender must meet the requirements of the Secretary of State’s Department
    of Administrative Hearings prior to obtaining an RDP.
  • A Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device may be installed on the offender’s
    vehicle as a condition of driving relief.
  • The offender is required to carry high-risk auto insurance for three years.
  • The offender’s vehicle registration will be suspended.

Victim's Rights

Illinois recognizes DUI as a violent crime; therefore, victims of DUI are recognized as victims of violent crimes. Victims’ rights are protected by statute and guaranteed by the Illinois Crime Victims’ Rights Constitutional Amendment

Victims of DUI have the right to:

  • A notice and to a hearing before a court ruling on a request to access any of their
    records, information or communications that are privileged or confidential by
  • Be notified in a timely manner of all court proceedings.
  • Communicate with the prosecution.
  • Be heard at any post-arraignment court proceeding in which their right is at issue
    and any court proceeding involving a post-arraignment release decision, plea or sentencing.
  • Be notified of the conviction, sentence, imprisonment and release of the accused.
  • Timely disposition of the case following the arrest of the accused.
  • Be reasonably protected from the accused through the criminal justice process.
  • Be present at the trial and all the court proceedings on the same basis as the
    accused, unless they are to testify and the court determines that their testimony
    would be materially affected if they hear other testimony at the trial.
  • Have present at all court proceedings, subject to the rules of evidence, an advocate and other support person of their choice.

Compensation for Victims

Wrongful Death Verdicts or settlement $100,000 - $1,000,000 +
Medical treatment for a crash involving injuries $100,000 - $1,000,000 +
Compensatory damages awarded to crash survivors. $10,000 +

How to obtain these rights

The lawyers at Cronauer Law represent the victims of reckless drunk drivers. If you or a family member was a victim of a drunk driver, contact our offices today.

An average of one alcohol-impaired driving fatality occurs every 51 minutes.


2018 DUI Facts

  • 291 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes, which was approximately 28
    percent of the 1,035 total crash fatalities.
  • 26,386 DUI arrests were recorded by the Secretary of State’s office.
  • 90 percent of all drivers arrested for DUI, who were eligible, lost their driving
  • 363 drivers under age 21 lost their driving privileges due to Zero Tolerance law
  • 26 percent of those arrested for DUI were women, who represented 50 percent
    of all licensed drivers.
  • Males ages 21-24 had the highest DUI arrest rate (about 9 per 1,000 licensed
  • 86 percent of all drivers arrested for DUI are first offenders.

New Law Concerning DUI in Illinois

Effective January 1, 2019

An aggravating factor in DUI sentencing includes if the defendant was driving his or her vehicle the wrong way on a one-way road.

Other DUI related Offenses

Dram Shop (Bars and Restaurant Responsibilty)

An employee or owner of an establishment may be held liable for a crash resulting
from the unlawful selling, giving or delivery of alcohol in that establishment to a
minor, intoxicated person or person known to be under legal disability or in need
of mental treatment.

Illegal Transportation/Open Container

It is illegal to transport, carry, possess or have any alcoholic beverages or medical
cannabis in the passenger compartment of a motor vehicle. Alcohol must be in the
original container with the seal unbroken. Cannabis must be in a tamper-evident
container and kept in an area that is inaccessible to the medical cannabis card
holder. Limousines, motor homes, mini motor homes and chartered buses not hired
for school purposes are exceptions to the law.
• Maximum fine of $1,000 and points-assigned violation on driver’s record.
• Suspension of driving privileges for one year or revocation for a second conviction within one year.
• If the offender is under age 21 — Mandatory suspension of driving privileges
for one year for first offense; mandatory revocation of driving privileges for a
second offense.

DUI Involving Motorboats or Snowmobiles

A person who is involved in a personal injury or fatal boating crash while operating
or in physical control of a motorboat and is issued a citation for any offense (other
than an equipment violation) is deemed to have given consent to a breath test.
People who refuse, do not complete or fail chemical testing will have their driver’s
license suspended. The length of the suspension will be the same as those listed
on page 11 under Statutory Summary Suspension/Revocation.

The average DUI offender is:
• male (74 percent arrested are men)
• age 34 (52 percent are under age 35)
• arrested between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m. on a weekend
• caught driving with a BAC of .16 — twice the illegal limit.

National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration