Tag Archives: DUI in Illinois

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 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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Illinois DUI attorney

Just like an alcohol DUI, it is against the law in Illinois to be under the influence of any drug while operating a motor vehicle. In Illinois, a person convicted of drugged driving can face serious consequences. 

What is Drugged Driving?

If a person is pulled over or is involved in an accident, and it is discovered they are impaired by a prescription or illegal narcotic through field sobriety, breath, or blood test, it is considered a DUI. This includes legal medical marijuana cardholders who display signs of impairment or who fail a blood test.

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Consequences of a DUI Conviction in Illinois, Naperville criminal defense attorneysConviction of a DUI (driving under the influence) in the state of Illinois can have serious, lasting consequences. In fact, even first-time offenders run the risk of losing their license, jail time, and significant fines. Furthermore, the DUI laws in Illinois are progressive, so each additional offense results in even heavier penalties. If you or someone you love has recently been arrested for a DUI, understand the consequences and how to best protect your rights.

DUI Arrests in Illinois

If you are pulled over and an officer suspects that you have been drinking, he or she will ask you to complete a field sobriety test. An arrest will be made if the officer feels that the sobriety test has provided them with probable cause. Once at the station, you will be asked to submit to chemical testing. If you refuse, you may be facing a statutory summary suspension, which immediately suspends your license and then gives you 45 days to fight a longer-term suspension in court. If you comply, your BAC will be used to determine if a statutory summary suspension will be issued.

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It may be counter-intuitive to understand a charge of driving under the influence for a driver who is not actually caught driving or operating a car by the arresting police officer. Nevertheless, you can be arrested and charged with a DUI in Illinois in certain circumstances, whether or not the police officers see you actually driving the car. In fact, the keys to the car do not have to be in the ignition, and the driver could be "sleeping it off" and still be convicted of a DUI.

Under Illinois law, a person shall not drive or be in actual physical control of any vehicle while his or her blood alcohol level is 0.08 percent or more, or he or she is under the influence of intoxicating drugs. It is the phrase “actual physical control,” that often gives the police the basis to arrest you for a DUI, even when you are not actually driving a car.

What Constitutes Actual Physical Control?

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