Illinois Court Monitoring Report 2022

MADD’s Court Monitoring Program enlists court monitors to observe and document what happens in the courtroom during impaired driving case proceedings. The program was created to ensure that impaired driving offenders are prosecuted and justice is achieved. Court monitoring is a tool proven to affect the adjudication process and is recognized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as an effective countermeasure to reduce impaired driving (1). Court monitors on the local scale can impact the handling of impaired driving cases by their mere presence in the court room.

Court monitoring is intended to enhance transparency and accountability within the criminal justice system and reduce the likelihood of repeat offenses. One way this goal is achieved is by sharing data and observations with law enforcement, judges, prosecutors, and the public to promote awareness of impaired driving and ensure accountability for all impaired driving offenders. To reduce future offenses, MADD® supports swift and unbiased treatment of all impaired driving cases. Court monitors track misdemeanor impaired driving cases in the judicial courts of their respective counties. Court monitors are often physically present for court settings and acquire case information from courtroom observation and, when necessary, from researching online databases. The data is then entered into the MADD National Court Monitoring Database for reporting purposes. The information presented in this report is from cases monitored in 2021.

The Illinois Court Monitoring Program monitored cases in Bond, Boone, Brown, Bureau, Carroll, Champaign, Clay, Dekalb, Du Page, Henry, Jefferson, Jersey, Jo Daviess, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Knox, Lake, La Salle, Lee, Livingston, Macon, Macoupin, Madison, Marion, Marshall, McHenry, Mclean, Mercer, Monroe, Montgomery, Ogle, Peoria, Rock Island, Saint Clair, Stephenson, Tazewell, Whiteside, Will, Williamson, Winnebago counties.

Illinois State Report (reporting period: 1/1/2021 – 12/31/2021)

Where disposition is known. Case Disposition DUI

This report is designed to present observations and trends relative to the counties monitored and is not intended to be a statistical analysis.




Pending Cases Monitored* | 3350 | 51% Adjudicated Cases Monitored | 3183 | 49% Total Cases Monitored in 2021 | 6533 *pending cases are cases waiting for a judgement








30 5



*Deferred Prosecution includes a version of informal probation; and upon certain completion of terms, the charge may be expunged from the defendant’s record. **An amended disposition means the charge was either amended to a lesser charge (such as Reckless Driving) or amended to a higher charge (less common). ***Nolle Prosequi often equates to the dismissal of charges by the prosecution.

Dispositions By County Impaired Driving Average

Where disposition by county is known.


Not Guilty

Deferred Prosecution


Faliure to Prosecute

Amended to Misd.

Amended to Felony


Nolle Prosequi


Plea Deal






Bond, Brown, Carroll, Clay, DeKalb, Kane, Kendall, Lake, Marshall, McHenry and Mercer Counties were not included due to lower case numbers reported. Due to the pandemic and natural attrition, some counties lost court monitors over the past year resulting in a small number of cases being monitored.

The data represented shows that some counties had much higher conviction rates than others. We can document that of the cases monitored by MADD, the conviction rate dropped from 70% in 2020 to 54% in 2021. It is imperative to continue documenting data to ensure that declining conviction rates do not become the trend in Illinois. It is MADD’s belief that continued court monitoring will continue to create a strong presence in courtrooms across Illinois, and this will allow for more data to be recorded which will continue to give an even clearer, more accurate picture of judicial and prosecutorial patterns throughout the state.

Crash Related Cases

2020 - 2021

Where case type is known.

2020 2021















It is alarming that a random sampling of cases monitored in 2021 resulted in a finding that more than three times the amount of crashes were monitored in 2021 than in 2020.

2020 - 2021 Previous DWI/DUI Convictions

Where previous disposition is known.

2020 2021


In addition to MADD monitoring more crash related cases in 2021, the occurrences of repeat offense also rose significantly.




1st Offense 2nd Offense 3rd Offense 4th Offense

Defendant Age Impaired Driving Average

Where age is known.


We have consistently seen that the age group for offenders tends to be the highest in the 21-29 age group. This is also noted by the Illinois Secretary of State’s office for 2020. Approximately 58% of all cases monitored by MADD in 2021 involved offenders that ranged from under age 20 to age 39. We are still seeing underage offenders represented at 5% which is an alarming figure.














Under 20 21-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60-69 70-79 80-89 90-99

Key Findings & Observations

The global pandemic continued to present challenges which impacted the day-to-day business of monitoring DUI cases in Illinois. In 2021, more courthouses had opened to the public than the previous year, but overall, access was still limited. Technology, including Zoom increased the ability to observe courtroom activities when being physically present wasn’t an option. In addition, monitors worked diligently to track cases remotely through datamining efforts and gathering case information through online databases. It is important to note that several counties did experience delays in either updating case information to their online databases or in their overall case progression.

Based on the case information collected and tracked by MADD court monitors, general observations include:

Only 54% of all cases monitored by MADD in 2021 had been adjudicated with a guilty conviction in comparison to a 70% conviction rate of all cases monitored by MADD in 2020. The largest group of offenders were representative of the 21-29 age group which is consistent with findings in 2020

Approximately 5% of offenders were aged 20 and under in both 2020 and 2021. MADD monitored more cases involving repeat offenders in 2021 vs. 2020. MADD monitored 786 cases that involved crashes in 2021 compared to 221 in 2020

Call to Action

In Illinois, the penalty for DUI resulting in the death of another is 3 to 14 years in prison. This is an affront to the victim’s surviving family members. A clear message must be sent that the crime of DUI will be met with serious consequences. We would like a review to commence as to what a more appropriate sentence would look like. We would like to see more DREs (Drug Recognition Experts) across the state. This is imperative since recreational marijuana is now legal and other drugs are becoming more prevalent in our state. We would like the current two-hour time limit imposed on the collection of evidentiary samples in relation to Marijuana-related DUI cases to be reviewed. It is currently set at a two-hour time window. This can lead to significant issues if the arrestee fails to cooperate, and a warrant is needed. We would like to see this process made more practical so that justice can be served. IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE HAS BEEN AFFECTED BY DRUNK OR DRUG-IMPAIRED DRIVING, MADD IS HERE TO HELP. CALL OUR VICTIM/SURVIVOR 24-HOUR HELPLINE AT 877-MADD-HELP (877-623-3435).

(1) Richard, C. M., Magee, K., Bacon-Abdelmoteleb, P., & Brown, J. L. (2018, April). Countermeasures that work: A highway safety countermeasure guide for State Highway Safety Offices, Ninth edition (Report No. DOT HS 812 478). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Driving a vehicle while impaired is a dangerous crime, yet continues to happen across the United States. Each year, about 1 million individuals are arrested. What happens after those arrests depends on the criminal justice system. As a MADD court monitor, you can get the insider’s perspective on the judicial system while making a vital contribution to your local community. Your presence in court and the data you collect will help make sure our laws are upheld and the criminal justice system does what it is intended to do: Keep us safe. Court monitors achieve the work of MADD’s Court Monitoring Program by doing the following: Remind law enforcement that MADD wants to see their cases prosecuted to the fullest extend of the law

Track conviction rates and sanctions

Identify trends in offender age, gender, and blood alcohol concentration level

Track conviction rates and sanctions

Promote public awareness and understanding of the dangers of impaired driving

For more information about court monitoring efforts in your state, please visit to learn more about the program and the availability to volunteer.

For more information about volunteering in Illinois, please visit

Illinois State Office 276 E. Deerpath Rd. Unit 405 Lake Forest, IL 60045

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