Category Archives: DUI

St. Charles DUI defense attorney

In Illinois, it is against the law to be in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If a police officer suspects you of drunk driving, you will likely be asked to complete a field sobriety test or breath test such as a Breathalyzer. If your blood alcohol content is 0.08 percent or more, or you show obvious signs of impairment, you face arrest and possible DUI prosecution. Criminal penalties for an Illinois DUI depend heavily on the circumstances of the alleged crime. If you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI, a criminal defense lawyer can help ensure that your rights are fully protected.

First-Time DUI Is Typically a Misdemeanor Charge

Most first-time Illinois DUI charges are Class A misdemeanors punishable by driver’s license suspension for one year, a fine of up to $1,000, and a possible incarceration period of up to six months. Unless certain aggravating circumstances were present, the majority of first-time DUI convictions do not result in significant jail time. Furthermore, you may be able to regain your ability to drive before the driver’s license suspension period ends via a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP) that will require you to use a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID). 

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St. Charles DUI defense attorney

Imagine the following scenario: you decide to have a few drinks at a local bar after work. However, you lose track of time and end up consuming a significant amount of alcohol and staying at the bar much longer than you intended. It is now nighttime, and you are too intoxicated to drive. In a situation like this, you may decide to avoid drunk driving by sleeping in your vehicle and driving home once you have sobered up. However, according to Illinois law, you may be charged with a DUI even if you were not actually driving.

Illinois DUI Law

Section 11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code states that it is a criminal offense for a person to drive or be in “actual physical control” of a vehicle when:

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St. Charles criminal defense DUI attorney

In Illinois, it is against the law to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. During a police stop in which an officer suspects that a person was driving under the influence (DUI), breathalyzers or field sobriety tests may be used to estimate a driver’s BAC. However, a police officer cannot force a driver to submit to a breath test or field sobriety test. Technically, Illinois motorists do have the option to refuse the test. However, doing so may result in several negative consequences.    

Understanding “Implied Consent” in Illinois

Many people do not realize it, but they actually give police officers permission to test their blood alcohol content when they choose to drive on Illinois roads. Illinois law states that drivers give “implied consent” to testing for the purpose of determining the amount of alcohol or drugs in their system. Police officers are permitted to request a breath test or other chemical test if there is probable cause to believe that someone who is in “actual physical control” of a vehicle is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If a law enforcement officer suspects a motorist of driving while intoxicated, he or she will typically ask the driver to submit to field sobriety tests and/or a breath test. If the driver refuses to take these roadside tests, this refusal may give the officer probable cause to make an arrest. Following the arrest, a driver will be asked to take a breath, blood, or urine test to measure their BAC. The implied consent laws apply to these post-arrest tests, and refusal to submit to this type of testing will result in administrative penalties, in addition to any criminal penalties resulting from a DUI conviction.  

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St. Charles drunk driving defense attorney BAIID

Many people know that being convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) can result in the loss of driving privileges in Illinois. However, you may not realize that a motorist can receive a driver’s license suspension for a DUI arrest as well. If you fail a “Breathalyzer” test or other blood alcohol content (BAC) chemical test, you will face a six-month license suspension called a statutory summary suspension. If you are asked by a law enforcement officer to take a BAC test after being arrested, and you refuse to do so, your license could be suspended for one year. Driving with a suspended license can result in severe criminal consequences. Fortunately, some individuals with a suspended driver’s license may regain their ability to legally drive if they qualify for certain driving permits and install a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) in their vehicle.

Understanding BAIIDs

A BAIID is similar to a Breathalyzer device. It is a small piece of equipment that measures the amount of alcohol on someone’s breath and uses that data to estimate the person’s BAC. Once a BAIID is installed in your vehicle, you will need to submit a breath sample by breathing into the device whenever you want to turn on the car. If your BAC is above 0.25 percent, the ignition will not work, and the automobile will not start. If you submit a breath test that is below the BAC limit, the car will start normally. You will also be required to submit breath samples throughout the duration of your trip.

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St. Charles cannabis DUI attorney

Many people do not realize it, but alcohol intoxication is not the only way a person can face driving under the influence (DUI) charges in Illinois. Illinois law states that an individual can also be charged with DUI for driving or being in physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of any controlled substance or drug – even prescription medications and cannabis. Because recreational marijuana is now legal in Illinois for residents aged 21 and older, many people are wondering whether or not they could receive a DUI for driving while under the influence of cannabis.

Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana Laws in Illinois

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the chemical compound that is responsible for the psychological effects caused by marijuana use. THC can affect a person’s coordination, concentration, perception of time, memory, reflexes, and more. Having THC in your system can significantly decrease your ability to drive safely if it reduces your reaction time or your ability to drive safely. For these reasons, Illinois DUI laws still include restrictions against driving under the influence of THC.

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