Is a conviction for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol (DUI) a felony?
A first-time DUI, (or, in some states, "DWI" -- short for "driving while intoxicated") is normally charged as a misdemeanor, not a felony. But if someone was injured as a result of the drunken driving, some states (including your home state of Illinois) will raise the charge to a felony.
(And if the victim dies, Illinois may charge the driver with reckless homicide.) Also, in a number of states, a DUI will be raised to a felony if it is the driver's second, third, or even fourth DUI offense. Your state, Illinois, falls right in the middle -- Illinois will charge a third DUI as a felony.
"Misdemeanor" and "felony" are emotionally charged words, but what do they really mean? Whether a conviction ends up as a misdemeanor or a felony depends on the type and length of the punishment for the crime. Misdemeanors carry the possibility of incarceration in the county or local jail for one year or less; felonies usually result in a state prison term of more than a year.