The answer is not necessarily. That said, the DUI doesn’t help.

You commit reckless homicide when you unintentionally cause a death without lawful justification by recklessly driving a vehicle (including a snowmobile or boat)  in a manner likely to cause death or great bodily harm. A judge or jury could infer recklessness from your DUI, but they are not required to draw that conclusion.  Further, “driving under the influence” requires some proof that you were impaired, not just that you’d been drinking.  If there is no other evidence of impairment, besides perhaps a breathalyzer, you could still win an acquittal.

If you have been charged with reckless homicide or a DUI-related offense, contact an experienced attorney immediately.  An attorney can review your case for your best possible defense.  As with most crimes, the state must prove all the elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt.  Can the state prove that you drove the car or that you acted recklessly?  Were you acting in self defense? Even if the state’s evidence is overwhelming, an attorney who is respected in the courthouse may be able to negotiate a more favorable plea agreement than you could on your own.

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or

Reference:  Illinois Pattern Criminal Jury Instructions: IPI 7.09, IPI 7.09Y, IPI 23.13. See

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)


About mdkeenan

A criminal and school law attorney with over 17 years of experience, I have successfully represented clients all over the Chicago area. My practice includes DUI, felony, criminal, misdemeanor, homicide, internet crime, retail theft, traffic offenses, cyberstalking, drug crimes, weapons violations, domestic battery and juvenile crime. I also represent families involving school cases. My clients come from all over the Chicago area including Skokie, Wilmette, Niles, Northbrook, Glenview, Evanston, Winnetka, Highland park, Northfield, Park Ridge, Des Plaines and Mount Prospect. I am a member of the ACLU and the Illinois State Bar Association. I serve as a volunteer for First Defense Legal Aid. Se habla espanol.
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