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Tag Archives: DUI

DuPage County criminal defense attorney DUI

Typically, Thanksgiving is one of the most dangerous times of the year on our nation’s roadways. Those who get together with family and friends during the holiday often drink alcohol, and when combined with increased amounts of travel, this can lead to car accidents caused by drunk driving. Things may be somewhat different in 2020 since concerns about COVID-19 are leading many to stay at home and avoid large gatherings. However, a large number of people will still be engaging in holiday travel and get-togethers, and because of this, Illinois law enforcement officials will be on the lookout for drunk driving, and they will be prepared to arrest those who are suspected of driving under the influence (DUI).

Law Enforcement Efforts to Reduce Drunk Driving Deaths

Hundreds of traffic fatalities occur during the Thanksgiving holiday every year in the United States. Even with the extraordinary circumstances that have affected people’s lives in 2020, the National Safety Council (NSC) has estimated that nearly 500 people will lose their lives between Wednesday evening and Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend. To help prevent car accidents, the Illinois State Police and other local law enforcement agencies will be conducting increased safety patrols. These patrols will continue through Monday, November 30, and they are likely to lead to high numbers of DUI arrests.

A driver may be charged with DUI if he or she is found to be driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) over the legal limit of .08 percent. In many cases, when police pull a driver over on suspicion of drunk driving, they will ask the driver to submit to field sobriety tests or take a portable breath alcohol test. Motorists are allowed to refuse these tests, although doing so may give an officer probable cause to make an arrest.

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DuPage County criminal defense attorney DUI

If you have taken a driver’s education course in the state of Illinois, you have likely seen informational videos about the dangers of driving intoxicated. They often show graphic car accident scenes, emotional testimonies from family members who have lost loved ones, and a dramatic moment when the police officer asks the driver to blow into their gun-like device, commonly known as a breathalyzer. Rightfully so, these videos are meant to scare Illinois drivers into driving sober at all times. While it is never a good idea to drive after multiple drinks, many motorists will still get behind the wheel after a few too many. You may think that you will never find yourself in this situation, but it is important to be aware of the laws surrounding chemical testing if you are ever stopped by an officer.

Implied Consent in Illinois

As a teenager sitting in your driver’s ed class, you may not have been paying as close attention to every detail as you should have. Many Illinois drivers are unaware of the state’s implied consent law and find themselves in hot water as a result. According to Illinois law, anyone with a state driver’s license has given their consent for law enforcement to conduct chemical testing of breath, blood, and/or urine to determine your state of intoxication. Typically, an officer will ask drivers to submit to a breath test before moving ahead with any other blood alcohol concentration (BAC) testing. If asked to blow into a breathalyzer for such testing, Illinois residents must comply or face an automatic license suspension. Your actual BAC has no weight on this suspension. In other words, if you are completely sober or know that you are well under the 0.08 percent BAC limit and refuse the test on principal, you will still face this license suspension.

Are Breathalyzers Always Accurate?

Even if you have submitted to a breath test and the results label your BAC as being 0.08 percent or higher, an experienced DUI defense lawyer can still defend your case. Breath tests are not the most accurate testing for BAC since there are a number of factors that can impact the results. Particular substances in the mouth can produce inaccurate results depending on the amount of alcohol vapor that they emit. Traces of alcohol found in mouthwashes, breath fresheners, and medication can skew the readings from the test. Like any form of technology, there is room for errors with the software, calibration, or device altogether. The officer should perform more than one breathalyzer test to ensure that the results are consistent. If only one test was performed, an attorney can use this to his or her advantage in formulating your defense. These are just two examples of possible errors that may occur during breathalyzer testing. If you are asked to blow into a breathalyzer, be sure to remember the exact details of the situation so you can provide your attorney with a detailed account if your BAC is found to be greater than 0.08 percent.

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DuPage County criminal defense attorney marijuana DUI

Across the country, more and more states are beginning to loosen the restrictions on laws surrounding the possession and use of marijuana for both medicinal and recreational purposes. Currently, there are 33 states that permit residents with certain conditions to use marijuana, while only 11 states, including Illinois, allow recreational use of marijuana. Even though cannabis is legal for adults to possess and consume, many people do not know that you can actually be charged with a DUI if you get caught while driving while you are under the influence of marijuana. This can result in significant criminal penalties, so it is imperative to consult a skilled attorney to understand your defense options.

Cannabis and Illinois Driving Laws

With the recent legalization of recreational marijuana for adults over the age of 21, some were concerned with how the change would affect existing DUI laws. However, the laws are clear that cannabis is included as a prohibited intoxicating substance, despite the reason for its use. According to the most recent Illinois DUI Fact Book, “A driver may not operate a motor vehicle while impaired by the use of cannabis, whether used medically or recreationally.”

Like alcohol, cannabis also has a limit for the amount of THC, which is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, present in your bloodstream while you are operating a vehicle. Just like the legal limit for your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 percent, the legal limit for THC is 5 nanograms per milliliter of whole blood or 10 nanograms per milliliter of another bodily substance.

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DuPage County juvenile crimes defense attorney

Underage drinking is all too common in today’s world. According to reports from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), 58 percent of teens have had a drink by the time they reach the age of 18. This may be a result of high school parties in which alcohol is present or it may be attributed to moving away from home and going to college by the age of 18. Regardless of when it starts, binge drinking is extremely common between the ages of 12 and 20, forming bad habits before juveniles even reach the legal drinking age. Those individuals under the age of 21 often fail to recognize the ramifications that underage drinking can have on their future and their criminal record. Criminal charges may include alcohol consumption, but there are also a number of offenses that do not require any alcohol to be consumed.

False Identification and Purchasing Alcohol

These are two separate alcohol charges that are often tied together in Illinois. Many young adults may use an older sibling’s ID or have one made that states that they are 21 years old. This can allow those under the age of 21 to enter bars or purchase alcoholic drinks. Although more common with college students, high school students have also been known to use this tactic to obtain alcohol without their parents’ knowledge. Having a fake ID or lending your ID to someone underage is considered a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to $2,500 in fines and one year in jail. Purchasing the alcohol in itself is a Class A misdemeanor with a minimum $500 fine. In other words, having a fake ID can often lead to additional criminal charges.

The Possession of Alcohol

The consumption of alcohol is not required for young adults to face alcohol-related charges in Illinois. If those under the age of 21 are found with alcoholic beverages in their possession, they may have their driving privileges suspended for up to one year. This is also true for any minors found transporting alcohol in their vehicles. They will automatically lose their license for one year and may face a $1,000 fine. This charge applies to anyone in the vehicle who is underage, not just the driver.

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DuPage County criminal defense attorney license reinstatement

There are many ways that you could lose your driver's license in Illinois, but by far, the most common way Illinois motorists lose their driving privileges is by being arrested and/or convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol. According to the Illinois Secretary of State, there were more than 26,000 DUI arrests across the state in 2018. Of those arrested, 90 percent of the drivers who were eligible to lose their driving privileges did have their licenses suspended or revoked. It can be frustrating to deal with a driver’s license revocation, but it can be even more frustrating to deal with the criminal consequences of driving while on a suspended or revoked license.

Punishments for Illinois Traffic Violations

If your driver’s license has been taken away because of a DUI, obeying that suspension or revocation is not optional. If you choose to drive while your driving privileges have been suspended or revoked, you could face criminal charges that could compound your situation. These include:

  • First offense: The first time you are caught driving with a suspended or revoked license, you may be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. This offense is punishable by up to one year in prison and up to $2,500 in fines. This charge comes with a mandatory jail sentence of at least 10 days or 30 days of community service. In addition to any of those penalties, you also face a suspension of your driving privileges for double the original amount of time. If your license was revoked, you face an additional year of revocation.
  • Second offense:  If you are stopped while driving with a suspended or revoked license a second time, you can be charged with a Class 4 felony. In Illinois, Class 4 felonies carry one to three years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. However, if the initial suspension or revocation was due to refusing a chemical test, reckless homicide, DUI, or fleeing the scene of a collision involving bodily injury or death, the charge is increased to a Class 2 felony. For this offense, there is a mandatory 30-day jail sentence or 300 hours of community service. In addition, you also will receive a license suspension of double the amount of the original period of suspension or an additional year of revocation.

Contact a Wheaton, IL Criminal Defense Attorney 

Being charged and convicted of a DUI in Illinois can result in serious consequences, including the loss of your driver’s license. Life can become increasingly difficult if you are unable to drive yourself or your family members to work or important appointments. At the Davi Law Group, LLC, we understand how much a driver’s license suspension or revocation can affect your daily life. Our skilled team of DuPage County DUI defense lawyers will help you not only receive temporary driving relief during your suspension or revocation period, but we will also help you reinstate your driving privileges once you are eligible. To learn more and schedule your free consultation, call our office today at 630-580-6373.

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Davi Law Group, LLC handles criminal law matters for clients in Chicago and throughout the western suburbs including DuPage County, Will County, Kane County, Kendall County and Cook County and the cities of Aurora, Bloomingdale, Bolingbrook, Carol Stream, Darien, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Geneva, Glen Ellyn, Hinsdale, Joliet, Kendall County, Lisle, Lombard, Naperville, Oak Park, Oak Brook, Oswego, Park Ridge, Roselle, St. Charles, Villa Park, Warrenville, Wheaton, Winfield, Woodridge and Yorkville.

 

 

 

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