Tag Archives: DUI charges

St. Charles felony DUI defense lawyer

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law in Illinois just as it is in every other U.S. state. If you are caught driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more in Illinois, you can be arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI). The criminal penalties associated with an Illinois DUI conviction will depend heavily on the circumstances of the offense. Some individuals who are convicted of a DUI may qualify for a diversion program and are able to avoid jail time entirely. Others, however, will face years of incarceration for a DUI conviction. Read on to learn more about Illinois DUI law and what you can do if you have been charged with this serious offense.

Misdemeanor DUI

If you are caught drinking and driving and you have never previously been convicted of DUI, you will likely face a Class A misdemeanor DUI charge. The penalties associated with a first-time DUI conviction include the revocation of your driver’s license for one year, a maximum jail sentence of six months, and a maximum fine of $1,000. You may be able to regain your driving privileges if you participate in the Monitoring Device Driving Permit program (MDDP) and install a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) in your vehicle. A BAIID works like a breathalyzer and requires the driver to submit breath samples for blood alcohol content (BAC) analysis. A second DUI conviction is also a Class A misdemeanor, but it carries a mandatory minimum jail sentence of five days and a maximum sentence of one year.

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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 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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St. Charles underage drinking defense lawyer

Many people drink alcohol before reaching the legal age of 21. Some parents may let their teenagers try a sip of beer, or a person may have a drink at a party. While this can seem innocent in a safe environment, underage drinking can escalate and quickly become dangerous. Long-term effects of underage drinking include impaired cognitive and physical development, memory and learning problems, increased risk of abusing other substances, and alcohol dependence. Drinking under the age of 21 is a crime in and of itself, but it can also lead to various other crimes with serious consequences.

Juvenile Drinking Crimes

  1. Drinking underage: The first crime is the consumption of alcohol by those under the age of 21. If a law enforcement officer sees the possession, consumption, purchase, or receipt of alcohol by anyone under the age of 21, the legal consequence will be a three-month suspension of driving privileges for court supervision, six months for a first conviction, one year for a second conviction, and license revocation for subsequent convictions.

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