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Category Archives: DUI

Wheaton, IL DUI Defense AttorneyBeing pulled over by a police officer for any reason can be an anxiety-inducing situation. The scenario can be even scarier if you are under suspicion of drunk driving, especially considering how strict the Illinois DUI laws can be. Police officers are trained to recognize the signs of impairment and will be looking for them in every traffic stop. If an officer suspects that you might be intoxicated or under the influence, he or she may ask you to submit to field sobriety testing and/or a preliminary breathalyzer test. While it is not a crime to refuse to submit, choosing not to cooperate can lead to additional consequences.

Understanding Implied Consent

You may know about or have heard of the term “implied consent.” This refers to the idea that every person who has a driver’s license in Illinois has implicitly agreed to submit to chemical testing of their breath, blood, or urine to determine the amount of a specific drug or alcohol in their system, and refusing to comply with this testing can result in automatic driver's license suspension. What some people may not know, however, is that the implied consent law only comes into play after you have been arrested for DUI. In other words, refusing to take a roadside breathalyzer test will not result in the automatic suspension of your license.

Consequences of Refusing a Chemical Test

If you refuse to submit to a preliminary breathalyzer test or field sobriety testing, this may give an officer reason to arrest you on suspicion of drunk driving. Following an arrest for DUI, you will likely be asked to submit to a chemical test, which is most typically a breath test, although sometimes your blood or urine can be tested instead. It is during this time that consequences can result if you refuse to submit to a chemical test.

According to Illinois’ statutory summary suspension law, a first-time chemical test refusal will result in a 12-month driver’s license suspension. You may be eligible to apply for a monitoring device driving permit (MDDP), which would utilize a breath-alcohol ignition interlock device to monitor your BAC anytime you drive for the duration of your license suspension. A second or subsequent refusal will result in a three-year license suspension.

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Wheaton IL statutory suspension lawyerIn Illinois, driving while you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol can get you into a lot of trouble. Criminal charges and related consequences are not the only things that you can look forward to after you are arrested for DUI. In certain situations, you can also face administrative penalties for a DUI charge, which can affect your day-to-day life without even being convicted of a crime. The most notorious administrative penalty for DUI is what is called a statutory summary suspension. This can affect your ability to freely drive following a DUI arrest and can make your life more difficult than it needs to be. Statutory summary suspensions can be fought, but it takes a knowledgeable Illinois DUI lawyer to succeed in a case.

What Is a Statutory Summary Suspension?

At its core, a statutory summary suspension is an administrative action that is carried out by the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office that can automatically suspend your driving privileges after you fail, refuse to submit to or fail to complete a chemical test to determine your BAC during a DUI arrest. A statutory summary suspension is an administrative action, meaning it is separate from any other criminal action you may experience.

Implied Consent in Illinois

Most states -- including Illinois -- have implied consent laws, which basically means that any person who holds an Illinois driver’s license and operates a motor vehicle on Illinois roadways has been deemed to have given consent to chemical testing of their breath, blood or urine to determine his or her alcohol concentration.

Failing a Chemical Test

Failing a chemical test to determine your BAC means that your BAC was .08 or more or there were 5 nanograms or more of THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) per milliliter of blood, or a trace of any other drug. Failing a chemical test for a first-time offender means that person will face a six-month driver’s license suspension. If this is the person’s second or subsequent offense within the past five years, they will face a one-year driver’s license suspension.

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DuPage County underage DUI lawyerIn the United States, drinking is a sort of rite of passage for many teenagers, though it is illegal. One of the worst things a teenager can do when they have been drinking is get behind the wheel of a car. Driving while you are under the influence of alcohol, or any other drug for that matter, is illegal for anyone, no matter your age. For those who are under the age of 21, drinking and driving is a much more serious offense, and young offenders face harsher penalties.

Zero Tolerance Laws

Most states have developed some form of zero tolerance laws for underage DUI offenders. These laws have helped underage DUI offenses become less common, but they still happen and they are still punished accordingly.

In Illinois, if a person under the age of 21 is pulled over on suspicion of intoxicated driving and their BAC is more than .00, he or she will face penalties in alignment with the zero tolerance laws. For a first offense, driving privileges will be suspended for three months for a BAC over .00. If the offender refuses to submit to a chemical test, driving privileges are suspended for six months.

Underage DUI Penalties

If a person under the age of 21 is convicted of DUI, they will receive all of the same penalties as someone who is over the age of 21. This means that for a first offense, underage DUI offenders face up to one year in prison and up to $2,500 in fines. Since they are under the age of 21, offenders will also face a minimum of two years of driver’s license revocation and will not be eligible for a restricted driving permit (RDP) until the second year of the revocation. In addition, a judge can also order an underage DUI offender to participate in the Youthful Intoxicated Driver’s Visitation Program.

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IL DUI lawyerWith 27,000 DUI arrests and 330 alcohol-related crash deaths in Illinois in 2017, you can understand why law enforcement and the courts take drunk driving offenses so seriously. Still, the State of Illinois also knows people can make one bad decision that should not necessarily devastate their life.

With that in mind, the state has options available for first-time offenders and other individuals who qualify so they can still earn a living and largely maintain their previous daily routine. One option is a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID), which around 12,000 Illinois residents have in their car at any given time.

BAIID Devices in Illinois

A BAIID is a breathalyzer device that tests a driver’s blood-alcohol content (BAC) and captures an image of the driver behind the wheel. If the driver registers a BAC of anywhere from .000 to .024, the vehicle’s ignition will function as desired. Anything .025 and above, it will not start. In addition to a test to initially start the vehicle, other tests are required at random intervals during each trip.

To be eligible for a BAIID, an individual cited for DUI must first apply for a monitoring device driving permit (MDDP). If granted, the BAIID is then installed in their vehicle for the duration of their court-supervised driver’s license suspension.

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IL defense lawyerMore than 27,000 DUI arrests were recorded in Illinois last year. Many of these constituted aggravated DUI offenses, which are the most serious DUI charges a driver can face. In Illinois, aggravated DUI is any DUI offense that results in a felony charge. A first or second DUI conviction is classified as a misdemeanor, but subsequent convictions or circumstances that involve various levels of endangerment, injury, or death can be charged as felonies. While you should have a skilled attorney for any DUI charge, it is impossible to overstate the need if you face aggravated DUI charges.

Aggravated DUI Cases in Illinois

Anyone convicted of aggravated DUI is subject to community service or imprisonment that cannot be suspended or reduced. Even those who receive probation or conditional discharge get at least 480 hours of community service or 10 days of incarceration.

Here is a look at offenses that constitute aggravated DUI in Illinois:

Class 2 Felony

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Abraham Lincoln A lawyer’s time and advice are his stock and trade. -Abraham Lincoln
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