It does not matter what situation you are in when you are charged with a DUI - they are all serious charges. However, if you are found to be driving while intoxicated when a child is present in the vehicle, your punishments will be much more strict. In Illinois, penalties for DUI increase if a child under the age of 16 years old is riding in the vehicle - but it does not stop there. In addition to DUI charges, you can also face other criminal violations, such as child endangerment. You could also be charged with more serious crimes if the child suffered an injury because of you.
DUI With a Minor in the Vehicle
According to the Illinois Vehicle Code, a first conviction for DUI is a Class A misdemeanor, which comes with a loss of driving privileges for one year, a possible sentence of up to one year in jail, and a maximum fine of $2,500. If you had a child in your vehicle while you were driving under the influence, that sentence is a mandatory minimum of six months in jail, a mandatory minimum $1,000 fine, regardless of your ability to pay, and 25 days of community service in a program that benefits children.
If you were convicted of DUI, and there was a minor under the age of 16 in the vehicle who suffered bodily injury because of an accident you caused, the penalties increase. Even a first offense is considered a Class 4 felony aggravated DUI. This means that in addition to any other criminal or administrative punishments, a mandatory $2,500 fine is imposed, and 25 days of community service in a program that benefits children is required....