Person committing a reckless driving offense

NOTE: The article below features additional content to explain how the License to Work Act (Public Act 101-623) adjusted aspects of Illinois law. When this Act took effect on July 1, 2020, Illinois restricted driver’s license suspension or revocation to situations involving moving violations.

The Illinois statute that defines reckless driving is 625 ILCS 5/11-503. It provides that reckless driving occurs when a person:

  1. Drives any vehicle with a willful and wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property; or
  2. Knowingly drives a vehicle and uses an incline in a roadway, such as a railroad crossing, bridge approach, or hill, to cause the vehicle to become airborne.

Reckless driving is a Class A misdemeanor offense. The penalty can be up to one year in jail and a fine of $2,500. The court may also sentence the defendant to probation, community service, and traffic school.

Aggravated reckless driving is a felony offense. This occurs whenever a person commits reckless driving and and also causes great bodily harm or permanent disability/disfigurement to any person. Aggravated reckless driving is a Class 4 felony offense. The sentencing statute provides that the penalty can be 1-3 years in the Department of Corrections and a fine of $25,000. Nonetheless, the court may sentence the offender to probation.

If the offense results in mere bodily harm to a child or a school crossing guard who is performing their duties, it becomes a Class 4 felony. However, if the result is great bodily harm or permanent disability/disfigurement to a child or school crossing guard, then it is a Class 3 felony. The penalty for a Class 3 felony includes 2-5 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. Though the Class 3 felony version of aggravated reckless driving is probationable.

Reckless driving is an offense for which the defendant can lose their driver’s license. The Secretary of State can revoke the Illinois driver’s license of any person who is convicted three times in 12 months of reckless driving. A single conviction for aggravated reckless driving resulting in great bodily harm or permanent disability/disfigurement to any person will also result in a mandatory revocation. See 625 ILCS 5/6-205.

Even though the License to Work Act adjusted the Illinois regulations for driver’s license suspension or revocation, reckless driving qualifies as a moving violation. As a result, standard and aggravated reckless driving will remain subject to license suspension or revocation.