7 Types of DUI2018-10-11T21:19:40+00:00

7 Types of DUI

It is a common misconception that a DUI must involve alcohol. DUI is shorthand for Driving Under the
Influence. There are many substances that have such an effect on a person to render them ‘under the
influence’. The state of Illinois has 7 different types of DUI that can be charged depending on what
substance is impairing an Illinois driver. In order to understand the challenges an Illinois driver will face
when charged with a DUI in the state of Illinois it is extremely important to understand the type of DUI
that you are being charged with. Each of the 7 different types of DUI carry a different set of elements
that the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt in order for an Illinois driver to be found guilty of
DUI. It is important to hire a DUI Attorney who has experience handling whatever DUI charge you may
be facing.

Source http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-501

DUI based on blood, breath or urine sample charged pursuant to 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(1)
The first type of DUI in the State of Illinois is commonly referred to as an (a)(1) DUI. An (a)(1) DUI is
when a person is operating a motor vehicle and the alcohol concentration in the person’s blood, other
bodily substance, or breath is 0.08 or more. If a DUI is written under this section it means that the
Illinois driver gave a chemical sample that was tested and disclosed alcohol in their system in excess of
0.08. The chemical test could be given in the form of a breathe sample, a urine sample, or a blood test.
If a blood test is given it may be done at the consent of the driver or in some circumstances a hospital
may draw an Illinois driver’s blood in the course of medical treatment. Blood that is drawn in the course
of medical treatment often happens after an Illinois driver is involved in a traffic crash or other accident
where the driver requires hospitalization. In a DUI charged under 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(1) the
prosecution must prove two elements. First, they must prove that an individual was driving or in actual
physical control of a vehicle and second, that the driver had 0.08 a higher concentration of alcohol in
their system.

DUI based on the driver being under the influence of alcohol pursuant to 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(2)
The second type of DUI in the State of Illinois is commonly referred to as an (a)(2) DUI. An (a)(2) DUI is
when an Illinois driver is operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. This DUI is
charged when an Illinois driver refuses to give a breath, blood or urine sample. Instead, the prosecution
will attempt to prove that the Illinois Driver is under the influence of alcohol based on observations
made of the driver at the time of arrest. These observations will include the driver’s performance on
Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, an admission by the driver that he or she was drinking or is drunk, the
presence of open alcohol containers in the vehicle and many other factors. In this type of DUI the
prosecution must prove two things. First, they must prove that an individual was driving a vehicle and
second, that the driver was under the influence of alcohol.
A person who is arrested for DUI and who submits to chemical testing as mentioned above will often
times be charged with two counts of DUI under section (a)(1) and (a)(2). In that particular instance the
prosecution will attempt to prove that the driver was driving over the legal limit of 0.08 and the
prosecution will also attempt to prove that the driver was intoxicated based on observations made by
the arresting officer.

DUI based on the driver being under the influence of intoxicating compounds pursuant to 625 ILCS
5/11-501(a)(3)
The third type of DUI in the State of Illinois is commonly referred to as an (a)(3) DUI. An (a)(3) DUI is
when a person is operating a motor vehicle and under the influence of any intoxicating compound or
combination of intoxicating compounds to a degree that renders the person incapable of driving safely.
A list of intoxicating compounds as defined by Illinois law can be found here. By definition an
intoxicating compound has the effect of distorting or disturbing the auditory, visual or mental processes.
An (a)(3) DUI differs from other types of DUIs in that the prosecution must prove three elements. First,
they must prove that an individual was driving. Second, they must prove a driver was under the
influence of an intoxicating compound. Third, the prosecution must prove that the driver was rendered
incapable of driving safely. This type of DUI is generally charged based on the observations of the
arresting officers and can include testimony of a certified Drug Recognition Expert or other qualified
witness. An Illinois driver who admits to using any one of the listed intoxicating compounds prior to
driving may also find himself charged with a DUI under this section. This type of DUI charge can be very
difficult to prove as the state must prove which of the specific intoxicating compounds an Illinois driver
used and that the suspected substance rendered the driver incapable of driving safely.

DUI based on the driver being under the influence of prescription drugs pursuant to 625 ILCS 5/11-
501(a)(4)
The fourth type of DUI in the State of Illinois is commonly referred to as an (a)(4) DUI. An (a)(4) DUI is
when a person is operating a motor vehicle and is under the influence of any other drug or combination
of drugs to a degree that renders the person incapable of safely driving. This type of DUI is often
charged when a person is under the influence of a legal, prescribed, controlled substance and this legal
substance effects a person in such a way that they are no longer capable of safety driving a car. A
common misconception is that if a person is taking prescribed medication they cannot be charged with a
DUI. This is simply untrue. In this type of DUI a person may be accused of taking more pills than the
prescription allows or taking one prescription drug while taking another prescribed drug and the
interaction between the two drugs results in impairment in the driver. This type of DUI can often will
include testimony of a certified Drug Recognition Expert or even a doctor. An (a)(4) DUI, much like the
(a)(3) discussed above, differs from other types of DUIs in that the prosecution must prove three
elements. First, they must prove that an individual was driving. Second, they must prove a driver was
under the influence of any other drug or combination of drugs. Third, the prosecution must prove that
the driver was rendered incapable of driving safely. It is important to note that a DUI charged under
section (a)(4) does not have to prove the amount of drugs in a driver’s system, only that those drugs in
the driver’s system rendered the driver incapable of safely driving a car. An Illinois driver charged with
a (a)(4) DUI may be asked to take a blood or urine test. However, whether a person takes a chemical
test or not, the may still be charged with a DUI under this subsection. If an Illinois driver admits to
taking prescription pills prior to driving or if a driver has multiple prescription bottles in their purse or
car it could result in a DUI charge. It is important to note that if a diver submits to a chemical test that
discloses prescription drugs in a driver’s blood or urine it is insufficient to prove a DUI under subsection
(a)(4). The state must prove the presence of the drug and that it rendered a driver incapable of safety
operating a vehicle.

DUI based on a combination of alcohol and drugs or intoxicating compounds pursuant to 625 ILCS
5/11-501(a)(5)
The fifth type of DUI in the State of Illinois is commonly referred to as an (a)(5) DUI. An (a)(5) DUI is
when a person is operating a motor vehicle and is under the combined influence of alcohol, other drug
or drugs, or intoxicating compound or compounds to a degree that renders the person incapable of
safely driving. This type of DUI is charged when a person has consumed alcohol in combination with
either an intoxicating compound or drug . Further that combination must render a person incapable of
driving a car safely. This type of DUI can also include testimony of a certified Drug Recognition Expert or
other qualified witness. An (a)(5) DUI, much like the (a)(3) and (a)(4) DUI’s discussed above, differ from
other types of DUIs in that the prosecution must prove three elements. First, they must prove that an
individual was driving. Second, they must prove a driver was under the influence of alcohol and other
drug or drugs or intoxicating compound or compounds. Third, the prosecution must prove that the
driver was rendered incapable of driving safely. This type of DUI can be charged based on chemical tests
that disclose multiple substances in a driver’s system along with alcohol. The state does not need to
prove that a driver has alcohol over the legal limit of 0.08, but rather must prove the presence of some
alcohol and the presence of drugs or intoxicating compounds.

DUI based on the use of illegal drugs pursuant to 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(6)
The sixth type of DUI in the State of Illinois is commonly referred to as an (a)(6) DUI. An (a)(6) DUI is
when a person is operating a motor vehicle and is there is any amount of a drug, substance, or
compound in the person’s breath, blood, other bodily substance, or urine resulting from the unlawful
use or consumption of a controlled substance listed in the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, an
intoxicating compound listed in the Use of Intoxicating Compounds Act, or methamphetamine as listed
in the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act. This type of DUI is often charged
when a person uses prescription pills without a valid prescription or when a person uses illegal drugs
like heroin or cocaine (for a list of controlled substances see 720 ILCS 570) , intoxicating compounds (for
a list of intoxicating compounds see 720 ILCS 690/1), or methamphetamines (for a list of
methamphetamines see 720 ILCS 646/5). The amount of the drug, substance or compound in a driver’s
system does not matter for the purposes of a DUI charged under section (a)(6) because it is unlawful for
a person to have any amount of the substance in their system. This type of DUI can include testimony of
a certified Drug Recognition Expert or the results of chemical tests to prove the presence of drugs or
intoxicating compounds in the driver’s system. In a DUI charged under (a)(6) the prosecution must
prove three things. First, they must prove that an individual was driving and second, that the driver had
any amount of a drug, substance, or compound in the person’s breath, blood, other bodily substance, or
urine. Third, they must prove that the consumption or use was unlawful. Drivers are often charged with
this type of DUI when they admit to police that they recently used illegal drugs or took prescription pills
that were prescribed to another person. A chemical test that reveals drugs, intoxication compounds or
unprescribed pills in a driver’s system will also result in this type of DUI charge. Additionally, if the
police find illegal drugs on an Illinois driver it may result in the driver facing additional felony charges in
addition to a DUI charge.

DUI based on the presence of 5 or more nanograms of THC’s in whole blood or 10 nanograms or more
of THC’s in other bodily substances pursuant to 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(7)
The seventh and final type of DUI in the State of Illinois is commonly referred to as an (a)(7) DUI. An
(a)(7) DUI is when a person is operating a motor vehicle and that person has, within 2 hours of driving or
being in actual physical control of a vehicle, a tetrahydrocannabinol concentration in the person’s whole
blood or other bodily substance as defined in paragraph 6 of subsection (a) of Section 11-501.2 of this
Code (See 11-501.2 here). In a DUI charged under section (a)(7) a person cannot have a
Tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of either 5 nanograms or more of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol
per milliliter of whole blood or 10 nanograms or more of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol per milliliter of
other bodily substance. This DUI charge is similar to a DUI charged under section (a)(1) (where a driver
must have a blood alcohol content over 0.08) in that it also requires a driver to exceed the legal limit
prior to being charged with DUI. In order to prove a DUI under section (a)(7) the prosecution will need
results of a chemical test showing a driver has a higher than legal amount of THC’s in their system. In a
DUI charged under (a)(7) the prosecution must prove two things. First, they must prove that an
individual was driving and second, that the driver had 5 nanograms or more of delta-9-
tetrahydrocannabinol per milliliter of whole blood or 10 nanograms or more of delta-9-
tetrahydrocannabinol per milliliter of other bodily substance in their system within 2 hours of driving a
car. A driver who lawfully consumes cannabis under the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot
Program Act and who has a valid registry card is exempt from charge under an (a)(7) DUI, unless that
driver is impaired by the use of cannabis. The law is very clear that a person who is licensed to use
Cannabis can still get a DUI if the driver is impaired by the use of Cannabis