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Tag Archives: DUI defense

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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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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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 DUI defense lawyer, refuse the breathalyzerIt is popularly suggested that drivers suspected of driving under the influence submit to field sobriety testing in order to avoid a DUI charge. While there may be several reasons why one should avoid these tests in many other states, the state of Illinois has enacted steps to “persuade” drivers to do so. In most cases, refusal would not be in one's favor. However, with the most commonly used form of sobriety tests, the breathalyzer, it is important to understand that the technology has many downfalls. 

Laws to Prevent Refusal 

The state of Illinois is an “implied consent” state. This ultimately means that in return for driving permissions, if you are arrested for DUI and the arresting officer had probable cause for the arrest, then you are consenting to a chemical test of your blood alcohol content (BAC). This can be in the form of blood, breath or urine.

The law goes on to explain that you also consent to a preliminary test, which in most cases use a breathalyzer test. The results of the preliminary test will be used to establish probable cause, which may result in an arrest. After the arrest is made, then you are required to submit to chemical testing. However, if you refuse to take the chemical test, then you will be subject to penalties, which the officer is required to tell you at the time of refusal. Penalties for refusal include: 

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DuPage County criminal defense lawyer, first DUI

If you are charged with a first-time DUI offense, you may be unsure as to how you should respond when speaking with an officer. For example, should you be cooperative and do everything an officer asks? Or, should you refuse to do anything? The answer lies somewhere in between the two.

First and foremost, an officer's job is to keep citizens safe. Yet, just like every human being, an officer may be experiencing a bad day, therefore resulting in a short temper and little patience. When responding to an officer's questions, do not become antagonistic in your responses; however, do not admit guilt. Admission adds evidence against you and is hard to come back from defensively. An officer cannot make an arrest without just cause.

Also, keep in mind that police are not required to tell the truth. Officers are legally allowed to lie to convince you to cooperate. Still, answer an officer's questions politely but do not offer any other information such as how many beverages you consumed. Moreover, do not discuss your driving that night. In sum, it is best to keep your mouth shut as much as possible. Anything that is communicated during that time is allowable in a court of law.

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