July 4th Weekend

With the 4th of July weekend upon us, I have been informed that DUI enforcement will be on "high alert".  Roadblocks and "no refusal" weekends are on tap for those that over-imbibe and drive.   Of course the easiest answer is to not drink and drive, and/or have a designated driver.    However,  even with precautions, we may still be in a situation that has the authorities suspecting us of being under the influence of alcohol.  A  "No Refusal" weekend is in store for Kane County this weekend.  What this means, is if you are stopped and arrested for DUI, the police will ask you to submit to a breathalyzer test.   If you refuse,  the authorities will attempt to secure a search warrant to "take" your breath or blood.   Often, assistant state's attorneys and phlebotomists are on hand to expedite the process.   They must still seek out a Judge to sign the search warrant, which takes some time.   In spite of this,  I have been informed that force will not be used to "extricate" the blood or breath from the driver.   The question becomes what happens if you continue to refuse to submit to giving blood or breath in the face of a search warrant.  Unfortunately, this has not been fully litigated yet.   You always have the right to refuse, but you must face the consequences.   A refusal in Illinois automatically entails a one year suspension of driving privileges for a first offender.  With a search warrant in hand, you can be threatened with contempt and/or obstruction of justice charges(which is a Class 4 Felony, much more serious than a DUI).    The choice is yours. Roadblocks and/or roadside checks are another matter.  Ostensibly the police are looking for equipment/seat belt violations and their choice of which cars to stop cannot be arbitrary.  There must be a predetermined routine for the vehicle stop, i.e. every 5th car, or every blue car.  During the stop the police will attempt to observe signs of intoxication to formulate probable cause for a DUI investigation/arrest.  It then proceeds as a normal DUI stop.  However, the requirements for conducting roadblocks are complicated and must be followed to the letter of the law. The DUI laws themselves are also complicated and voluminous.  DUI defense is a specialty unto itself in the criminal defense arena.  If you find yourself charged with DUI, it's best to have an experienced attorney to assist you.  GS