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Category Archives: DUI

DuPage County DUI defense lawyerWhen one is arrested for their first DUI, they might assume that the charges will be minor. Unfortunately, this is not always true. In fact, under the right circumstances, even a first-offense DUI could become a felony. Learn more about the situations that may lead to such a charge, and discover how an experienced attorney can help you fight the charges.

First-Offense DUIs Typically Charged as Misdemeanors

In most instances, a first-offense DUI is considered a misdemeanor offense. If convicted, the consequences could include up to one year of jail time, fines, civil penalties, and a one-year suspension of your license. You may have an option for restoring your driving privileges, but you would be required to have a breathalyzer interlock device on all your vehicles. Because these consequences can have a significant impact on your life, it is advised that you seek legal assistance, even at this lower level of DUI consequence.

First Offense Aggravated DUI

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DuPage County criminal defense attorneyWhen you are pulled over by a police officer and the officer has a reason to believe that you may be intoxicated, he or she may ask you to submit a blood-alcohol content (BAC) test—most often in the form of a breath test. It is possible for the officer to ask even if he or she does not really suspect that you are drunk, but most such tests—commonly referred to as breathalyzers—are conducted to confirm the officer’s suspicions. If an officer in Illinois asks you to take such a test, should you do it? And, what will happen if you refuse? The answers to these questions depend on a number of factors, including when the request is made and what you were doing in the hours leading up to the stop.

Prior to Arrest

The timing of the officer’s request is the key element in determining if consequences will apply for refusing a breathalyzer. If you are asked to take the test before any mention of arrest or any other detainment—except for the traffic stop, obviously—you have no obligation to submit to the test. You cannot be prosecuted nor will you face any other penalties for refusing a BAC test at this point.

From a practical standpoint, however, your refusal may arouse the officer’s suspicion and prompt him or her to take a more in-depth look at the situation. He or she may look at little closer at your demeanor, speech patterns, and other possible clues that could suggest intoxication. Thus, if you have not been drinking, submitting to a pre-arrest breathalyzer may be the fastest route to getting on with your day.

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DUI, DUI defense, DUI bicycle, traffic violations, DuPage County DUI defense attorneyWith Summer at its start and the weather becoming nicer, more and more people will take to their bicycles for transportation. However, one of the least talked about safety issues is riding a bicycle while intoxicated.

Can I Get a DUI on a Bicycle?

Various states have provisions on their law books where one may be charged with a DUI for riding a bicycle drunk. However, in Illinois, unless certain other circumstances are met, you will likely not be charged with a DUI while riding a bike.

The reason why you usually cannot be charged with a DUI on a bike is because a bicycle is not legally defined as a vehicle. Therefore, operating a bicycle while intoxicated is not the same as operating a car or motorcycle in the eyes of the law.

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DuPage County underage DUI attorneys, zero tolerance lawIf you are under 21 years old and caught drinking and driving, you could face a couple of charges, depending on the facts of your situation. Illinois has a zero tolerance policy for underage drinking and driving as well as laws prohibiting driving under the influence.

Both types of convictions can lead to numerous consequences that can follow a young person as he or she applies to schools and jobs. This is why you should fight these charges. With the help of an attorney, you may be able to reach a deal with prosecutors that will keep a conviction off your criminal record.

Zero Tolerance for Drivers Under Age 21

Because it is illegal for anyone under 21 to be drinking in Illinois, anyone under the legal drinking age caught driving will face criminal charges. It does not matter if the driver’s BAC is under the legal limit of .08. So long as BAC levels are over .00, there will be consequences under the law.

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DuPage County DUI attorneys, field sobriety testsGetting pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence means that a police officer will take every opportunity he or she has to determine if you are driving drunk. From the moment an officer spots your vehicle, he or she will be gathering evidence that may be used to prove in court that you were driving under the influence. 

One way officers will attempt to determine your level of intoxication is through field sobriety tests. There are three types of field sobriety tests:

  1. Walk-and-Turn Test. In this test, officers have drivers walk heel to toe in a straight line and then have them pivot around asking them to walk in the other direction. An officer may also ask you to count your steps as you take them.
  2. One Legged Stand Test. An officer will ask a driver to stand on one leg with the other leg outstretched in front of the body. The driver will be required to hold this position without swaying or moving arms for balance.
  3. Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test. When a person is intoxicated, his or her eyes will involuntarily jerk as they focus on a moving object. In this test, an officer will have a driver follow a finger moving right and left watching for the jerking eye movements.

Field Sobriety Tests Are a Poor Measure of Impairment

There are a couple of problems with these field tests. First, a driver may not be able to complete these tasks acceptably when sober. Some people with or without health conditions find it hard to stand on one leg without losing balance. The nervousness that comes with any police interaction can also play a role.

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