Category Archives: DUI

St. Charles aggravated DUI defense attorney

As it is in every state, it is against the law to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Illinois. Many DUI arrests are the result of failing a chemical blood alcohol content (BAC) test such as a breathalyzer. However, a driver may be arrested for DUI even if he or she does not have a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or greater. According to Illinois law, a driver can face DUI charges for being under the influence of any intoxicating compound, drug, or combination of drugs and alcohol to a degree that he or she is unable to drive safely. The penalties for DUI increase with every previous DUI conviction. If you have been charged with your second or third DUI in Illinois, it is crucial that you reach out to a criminal defense attorney for help.  

Criminal Consequences of a Second or Subsequent DUI

A second DUI is typically a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois, which is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 and a jail sentence of up to one year. You may also be subjected to a driver’s license suspension of five years. Third, fourth, and subsequent DUI convictions are aggravated DUI offenses in Illinois. If you have received two previous convictions for DUI, and you are caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs for the third time, this is a Class 2 felony offense. If convicted, you could face up to seven years in prison. You may also face a driver’s license suspension period of 10 years.

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St. Charles drunk driving defense attorney

As in all 50 states, it is against the law in Illinois to operate a vehicle while impaired due to drugs or alcohol. A conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) can result in hefty fees, incarceration, and suspension of your driver’s license. After a DUI arrest, you may be extremely concerned about how the loss of your driving privileges will negatively impact your life. You may worry that you will be unable to get to and from work, transport your children, and fulfill other important responsibilities. In some cases, a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP) can allow you to regain your driving privileges before the mandatory license suspension period is over.

What Is an MDDP?

The MDDP program allows DUI offenders to regain their ability to legally drive before they would otherwise be able to do so. In order to participate in the program, you will need to have a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) installed in your vehicle. This device works similarly to a roadside breathalyzer test in that it measures the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream by analyzing a breath sample. Once the BAIID has been installed, the vehicle ignition will only engage if you submit a passing breath sample. Your blood alcohol content (BAC) must be below 0.25 percent in order for the vehicle to start. You will also be required to submit additional breath samples throughout your trip.  

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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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