Operating an Uninsured Motor Vehicle that Causes Bodily Harm to Another Person is Now a Class A Felony

Effective January 1, 2010, Public Act 96-143 went into effect. This law creates a new offense, which is a class A misdemeanor, for an individual who operates a motor vehicle without insurance when that vehicle causes personal injury to another person.

While Illinois law already requires that all vehicles be insured, this new offense makes it a separate crime to operate while uninsured in situations where someone is injured.

While mandatory insurance laws have reduced the numbers of uninsured drivers, they have also spawned a cottage industry of “substandard” insurance carriers who write minimal limit policies that are often insufficient to cover damages in many situations.

This new law will, hopefully, provide the State with one more weapon to be used in situations where an uninsured driver is involved in a collision.

A Class A Misdemeanor brings a penalty for first offenders of up to a $2,500.00 fine and/or one year in prison. It is now in the same category as first-offense DUI and Reckless Driving Offenses.

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