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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 17, 2001

Governor Ryan Signs Four Bills Tightening Illinois DUI Laws

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today signed two Senate and two House bills into law that toughen penalties for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI). The House bills are effective upon signing while the Senate bills take effect on January 1, 2002.

"The new laws will further improve our efforts to deter drunk driving in Illinois," Governor Ryan said. "Although we've made great progress in fighting this behavior over the years and have become recognized nationally for our leadership in fighting impaired driving, we don't want to let our guard down now.

"We want to toughen the laws on drivers with high alcohol levels and those who endanger our children in school zones and buses," Ryan added.

Senate Bill 20 increases the penalty for driving under the influence in a school zone and causing a crash that injures someone to an aggravated DUI offense, which is a Class 4 felony punishable by one to three years imprisonment.

House Bill 2290 allows courts to impose extended term sentences on certain violators, including those found guilty of DUI while driving a school bus, convicted for a third or subsequent DUI offense, or convicted for DUI and causing a crash that results in great bodily injury or permanent disability or disfigurement to another person.

House Bill 2265 increases the penalties for those with a high blood alcohol content (BAC) of twice the legal limit or more and for those who are transporting a minor. The bill also requires drivers whose licenses have been suspended or revoked two or more times to equip their vehicle with ignition interlock devices if issued a Restricted Driving Permit. In addition to the penalties imposed for a DUI conviction, the offenders will be subject to these penalties:

  • For a first violation, a mandatory minimum of 100 hours of community service and a minimum fine of $500;

  • For a second violation within 10 years, a mandatory minimum of two days of imprisonment and minimum fine of $1,250;

  • For a third violation within 20 years, it is a class 4 felony with a mandatory minimum of 90 days of imprisonment and a minimum fine of $2,500; and

  • For a fourth or subsequent violation, it is a class 2 felony with a minimum fine of $2,500, and a person shall be ineligible for a sentence of probation or conditional discharge.

Senate Bill 64 provides that an additional $100 fine, collected from a DUI violator for distribution to the law enforcement agency that made the arrest, will be increased to $200 for a second or subsequent DUI conviction. The bill also increases the portion of the fine going into the Trauma Center Fund from $25 to $100 in certain counties. The Fund is divided between the Department of Public Aid and the Illinois Department of Public Health, which distributes the money to trauma centers to help defray costs.

SB 20 was sponsored in the Senate by Senator Kathleen Parker, R-Northbrook, and Representative Elizabeth Coulson, R-Glenview; SB 64 by Senator Ira Silverstein, D-Chicago, and Representative Jay Hoffman, D-Collinsville.

HB 2265 was an initiative of Secretary of State Jesse White and was sponsored by Representative James Brosnahan, D-Evergreen Park, and Senator Debbie Halvorson, D-Crete; and HB 2290 by Representative Randall Hultgren, D-Wheaton, and Senator Kirk Dillard, R-Hinsdale.


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