Category Archives: DUI

St. Charles DUI marijuana attorney

If you are like most people, you probably assume that driving under the influence (DUI) only refers to driving while intoxicated from alcohol use. However, this is not the only way that a person can be charged with DUI in Illinois. According to Illinois statutes, it is against the law to drive while under the influence of any drugs or alcohol. Even medical marijuana users or individuals taking prescription medications can be at risk of receiving a DUI if the drug hinders their ability to drive safely.

How Will the Legalization of Marijuana Affect Illinois DUI Laws?

Illinois will soon be the 11th U.S. state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. House Bill 1438 was signed into law by Illinois Governor JB Pritzker in June 2019, and it will take effect on January 1, 2020. After this date, adults 21 years old or older will be able to legally purchase marijuana, THC-containing edibles, and cannabis concentrate products. However, it is critical for Illinois residents to understand that they are still subject to DUI laws regarding driving under the influence of cannabis even after legalization takes effect. Illinois law prohibits driving under the influence of “any drug or combination of drugs to a degree that renders the person incapable of safely driving.” If you are driving under the influence of marijuana and are stopped by a police officer, you could be arrested for DUI.

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St. Charles drunk driving defense lawyer

In Illinois, if you are convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, your driver’s license can be suspended or revoked. However, there are several driving relief programs available to DUI offenders that can help them regain their driving privileges. A qualifying offender may be able to obtain a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP) or Restricted Driving Permit (RDP) by meeting certain criteria and agreeing to install a monitoring device in their vehicle. These devices, called Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Devices or BAIIDs, require the driver to submit a breath test in order to operate the vehicle. Here are some frequently asked questions Illinois drivers have about these devices:

How Do I Use a Breath Ignition Interlock Device?

Similar to a breathalyzer, a BAIID uses a person’s breath to estimate his or her blood alcohol content (BAC). If you have a BAIID installed in your car, you will need to breathe into the machine in order to start the vehicle. The device will then calculate your BAC. If your BAC is above the allowable limit, the vehicle will be “locked out,” and the ignition will be unusable for a period of time. You will need to submit additional breath samples every 5 to 45 minutes during your drive.

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St. Charles drunk driving defense lawyer

As in every other U.S. state, it is against the law to drive while drunk in Illinois. If a motorist is caught driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher, he or she can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) and is subject to criminal penalties. Many DUI charges arise after a police officer administers a chemical breath test to determine a driver’s BAC. An officer cannot physically force someone to take a breath test, so technically the driver has the right to refuse this test. However, refusing to submit to chemical BAC testing can result in significant penalties.

Illinois' Implied Consent Law

If a police officer notices a motorist who is driving erratically, drifting between lanes, or otherwise appears intoxicated, he or she has probable cause to pull that driver over. If the driver shows indications of impairment such as slurred speech, red eyes, or the smell of alcohol, the officer may arrest the driver on suspicion of DUI. In order to determine how intoxicated the driver is, the officer may ask him or her to submit to a breathalyzer test or field sobriety tests. If the officer believes that the driver is under the influence, he or she will arrest the driver, and at the police station, the driver will be asked to submit to a chemical blood alcohol test of his or her blood, breath, or urine. Illinois’ implied consent law states that anyone who is in “actual physical control” of a vehicle has given consent to chemical BAC testing.

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St. Charles driver's license resintatement lawyer

Everyone makes mistakes from time to time, even while operating a vehicle. Having your Illinois driver’s license suspended or revoked because of a traffic violation or accident can turn your life upside down. Without a license, you may have to rely on friends and family for rides or pay for a taxi. Even ride-share services such as Uber and Lyft can get expensive when you consider the cost over many months. If you have a job, classes you must attend, or a family to take care of, it is important that you get your driving privileges reinstated as soon as possible. Driver’s license reinstatement in Illinois is possible with the help of an experienced lawyer. 

Suspension Versus Revocation

There is one big difference between having your license suspended and having it revoked. A suspension lasts for a defined length of time, such as six months. When your driver’s license is revoked, however, you have lost it indefinitely. You can apply to have your license reinstated after 12 months, but you are not guaranteed to be approved for a reinstatement based on your driving record. 

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St. Charles prescription medication DUI lawyer

Most people think of alcohol when the topic of DUI comes up. However, the term DUI stands for “driving under the influence,” and a driver can be under the influence of many different substances in addition to alcohol. These substances can include illegal drugs and even legally prescribed medications. Taking medication may not necessarily affect a person's ability to operate a motor vehicle. However, if certain medicines do cause impairment, someone behind the wheel could face penalties for DUI with prescription medication

Commonly Prescribed Medications Leading to DUI

Not all prescribed medications are known for causing impaired driving. For example, taking birth control or a medication used to reduce cholesterol may not affect your ability to drive. However, many other medications are known to impair drivers, and it is important to understand how those prescribed medicines will affect you before you get behind the wheel of a car. These common types of medications usually have a warning label on the bottle, but if there is any question about how they might affect your driving ability, you should speak to your prescribing doctor or pharmacist. Some prescription medications that could cause impairment include:

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