Archive for July, 2013

What is SR-22 Insurance?

July 29th, 2013 at 8:00 am

In Illinois, there are certain minimums of coverage that are required by motorists.  As of May of this year, Illinois lawmakers are proposing an increase from liability from $20,000 to $25,000 for the death of one person.  This would be the most basic coverage necessary for a person to drive legally.  Police officers routinely check for proof of insurance and vehicle registration even for routine traffic stops.

Another form that is necessary to prove that a person has car insurance is a SR-22 or Safety Responsibility-22 form.  It is filled out by an authorized insurance company to prove that a driver has insurance.  This form is submitted to the DMV and maintained unless the premium is not paid.  An SR-22 must be maintained for at least three years.  In the case of a missed payment, a SR-26 form is issued by the insurance company, which automatically suspends the driver’s license.

Car insurance

A SR-22 is necessary when trying to reinstate a suspended license due to any number of violations:

  • Driving without insurance,
  • Serious violations of traffic rules,
  • Volume of moving violations,
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

And also may be necessary for individuals who have received:

  • Mandatory insurance suspensions,
  • Unsatisfied judgment suspensions,
  • Safety responsibility suspensions.

The SR-22 can take one of three forms.  The first is as an Operator’s Certificate which covers the driver in any non-owned vehicle.  The second is an Owner’s Certificate which covers vehicles owned by the driver.  The third kind is a combination which is an Operators & Owner’s Certificate which covers all vehicles owned and not owned by the motorist.

If you have been pulled over for suspicion of DUI, then it is important to have the legal advice of a professional.  The consequences are too great to be put to chance.  Contact an experienced DUI attorney in Cook County who can help you keep your license and avoid insurance hassles.

How to Handle a DUI Stop

July 26th, 2013 at 10:56 am

RigersThis post is not a lesson on how to get away with a DUI. Drinking and driving is dangerous and unnecessary. The cost of hiring a cab is much smaller than the cost of dealing with a DUI or the danger of getting in an accident. An effective method to avoid having to drive while intoxicated is to have a ‘getting home’ plan before going out; whether by walking, cab, public transportation or a designated driver.

Alas, drivers still find themselves in a tight spot when a police officer pulls them over after a night of drinking. In those cases, drivers should keep the following in mind.

  • Be courteous. Remember, police officers deal with all sorts of people throughout their shift and their patience starts to wear thin.
  • If a police officer asks you to get out of your vehicle, you should comply.
  • However, do not volunteer any information, no matter how innocent it may sound. Being polite does not mean that you have to do the officer’s job for them.
  • More importantly, do not admit to having any beverages or other intoxicating substances. The most common answer a driver who has been drinking gives when asked whether they have been drinking, is that they have only had two drinks; a strong indicator that the real number is north of two.

It is important that drivers provide as little damaging evidence as possible. Police officers work for the State. They gather evidence that state attorneys use to prosecute alleged DUI offenders. Police officers do not have your interest in mind. Another important thing to remember is that a breathalyzer may not be necessary if the police officer has sufficient evidence from other sources, including a field sobriety test, that show one is intoxicated. Most police cars now have cameras on their dashboards and the officers may be wired with microphones, thus catching behavior that may indicate drunkenness.

Drivers are the victims of police overreaching all the time. If you are facing a DUI charge, an experienced Illinois DUI attorney may help.

New Technology Added to BAIIDs

July 22nd, 2013 at 10:08 pm

dreamstime_xs_19051456When people are convicted of DUI offenses, law enforcement has certain ways to keep them from driving drunk again.  In 2009, Illinois instituted that breath alcohol ignition interlock devices (BAIID) should be installed in the vehicles of parties guilty of drunk driving.

The BAIID requires that the operator of the vehicle to breathe into a device that can stop the car from working if the blood alcohol level of the driver is equal to or higher than .05 percent.  This has worked to varying degrees since the have been installed in cars, with DUIs declining overall since 2009.

Officials maintain that BAIIDs are often misused by the very people they are trying to protect.  Some previous offenders have anyone else blow into the device, including children.  Others have used tanks of compressed air in order to drive drunk.  The problem is so bad that Illinois State administrator Susan McKinney estimates that of the 11,000 drivers with BAIIDs, over 3,000 are caught trying to drive over the limit every year.

Now an attempt is being made to even stop those circumventing these ignition devices. Prior to the 4th of July celebrations, Illinois has started including new technologies in ignition interlock devices. It is a camera which snaps a picture each time the device is used, that way there is no foul play or cheating the test.

Illinois DUI defense attorney Donald Ramsell is a major opponent of this new technology.  Not only does he feel that this is an invasion of privacy but that the measure to add cameras to these devices is not supported by any evidence that proves their necessity.

If you have been pulled over under suspicion of DUI, don’t fight by yourself.  The law office of Donald Ramsell has defended over 10,000 drivers just like you.  Contact their experienced DUI defense attorneys in Wheaton who can advise you through this difficult time.

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