Anatomy of an Illinois Statutory Citation

To the uninitiated, the citation form for Illinois statutes can be mystifying. For example, the citation for the per se DUI offense in Illinois is 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(1).

But, after you understand the parts of the citation, it is easy to use the information in it to locate the statutory text on Illinois General Assembly website.

Let’s break down our example citation.

625: This is the chapter of the Illinois Compiled Statutes that we start looking in. Lawyers, police officers, and frequent speeders will recognize this chapter as the vehicle chapter.

ILCS: Illinois Compiled Statutes

5: This signifies Act 5 of the chapter. After we locate the proper chapter, we next look for the act that our statutory text resides in.  This particular act is also known as the Illinois Vehicle Code.

11:  This is the chapter of the act.  If you are wondering, this is the second time we have used the word “chapter.”  This is part of the citation is also called a chapter.  I wouldn’t worry about this label, however. We don’t really need to worry about it since it is also part of the section number (see below).

11-501. Section 11-501. This is the precise section of the text we are looking for.

(a): This is the subsection of the section where the per se law is located.

(1): This is the paragraph of the subsection. It is also the home of our per se DUI law.

So, if you are on the Illinois General Assembly website and trying to find the per se DUI law, you will click on the link for the Illinois Compiled Statutes and then use the numbers of the per se citation to navigate to the text that you are looking for.

Jeremy Richey

2 Responses to “Anatomy of an Illinois Statutory Citation”

  1. 1 Mark Draughn February 16, 2012 at 10:55 am

    So why are some parts of the ILCS repeated? For example, later on in that section, there are two parts labelled “Sec. 11-501.2. Chemical and other tests.” Are those old and new versions of the same section?

  2. 2 Jeremy February 16, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Yes. Look at the end of each section. You will see different effective dates. Eventually, you will only see one section when the law is the law and no changes are forthcoming.

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Jeremy J. Richey, Attorney at Law
© Jeremy J. Richey and The East Central Illinois Criminal Law & DUI Weblog, 2008-2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.