Archive for August, 2013
August 30th, 2013 at 2:10 pm
In Illinois, it is illegal to drive a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. When it comes to alcohol, a person will be considered under the influence if they have a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more, or if the circumstances indicate that they are unable to operate a vehicle safely.
One may be considered under the influence even if their blood alcohol content is substantially below .08, as long as there is enough evidence to show that they were not acting normally. In a DUI stop, the field sobriety test will be a strong indicator of this even without a breathalyzer test.
The first time a person is caught driving under the influence, they are subject to a Class A misdemeanor, revocation of their license and a minimum $750 fine. The second time they are caught, they will be subject to a Class A misdemeanor, license revocation, five days imprisonment (or 240 hours of community service), as well as having to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle.
Illinois law also has harsher punishment for cases where the driver was driving while intoxicated while transporting a child under 18 or if there is an accident. If the there was an accident, the defendant is liable for all the expenses associated with emergency medical vehicles. Moreover, under Illinois law, each subsequent DUI (especially aggravated ones) will carry stiffer penalties.
Lastly, if a driver is found guilty of a DUI, they may also be ordered to undergo counseling to determine if they have a substance abuse problem.
The Illinois DUI statutes contain specific guidelines and impose stiff penalties on violators. However, those same guidelines can enable a person to fight or appeal their DUI charge if the process was flawed. If you are facing a DUI, do not take a chance, have an Illinois DUI attorney who knows the system fight for you.
August 26th, 2013 at 1:54 pm
Imagine this: you are sitting at a stop light with your loved one, awaiting your turn. Then, in an instant, your life is over because of another person’s lapse in judgment. This is what happened to Bryan Bulger, who was waiting his turn at a stop light. As he waited with his girlfriend sitting in the passenger seat, another driver, Jason Rymut, slammed into Bryan’s car while driving 83 miles per hour. The force of the impact caused Bryan’s car to crash into a third vehicle. The force of the impact caused massive injuries to Bryan’s head and body, killing him instantly. Bryan’s girlfriend and the driver of the third car survived, as did the drunk driver.
Prior to the crash, Rymut was using his cell phone and the black box in his vehicle revealed that he was driving at speeds reaching 86 miles per hour. During their investigation, police promptly smelled alcohol in Rymut’s breath and blood drawn at the hospital revealed that his blood alcohol content was .121, substantially more than the maximum Illinois allows.
Considering the evidence against him, Jason Rymut opted to plead guilty to charges of aggravated driving under the influence instead of taking a chance with a jury. The judge considered Bryan’s age, the emotional nature of the case, the toll that Bryan’s death had taken on his family and girlfriend, and sentenced Rymut to nine years in prison. The judge stated that Rymut’s decision to drive drunk showed a “callous disregard” for the safety of other people, ultimately taking Bryan’s life, and Rymut should spend his sentence contemplating the “horrific results of his collision.”
Drinking and driving is serious and can have devastating effects on the driver and the public. If you face DUI charges, consult an experienced Illinois DUI attorney.
August 22nd, 2013 at 12:31 pm
Law enforcement in the state of Arkansas now have another way to potentially determine whether a person is operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The law allowing these tests was approved in March but took effect on July 17th.
A Lieutenant in the Sebastian County Sheriff’s department took the lead on making this test available in Arkansas. Allan Marx said he became familiar with the opportunities in saliva testing while working on a case in the previous year and realized that it might help in cases within the state, allowing officers now to test urine, blood, and breath. From there, a person might be charged with a DUI and need to hire an attorney.
A driver might be subjected in Arkansas to a saliva test after he or she has failed the sobriety test. The tests are designed to detect ketamine, marijuana, amphetamines, cocaine, oxycodone, opiates, phencyclidine, propoxyphene, and alcohol. There are challenges with this new test, however. The saliva test is not always accurate, only providing complete results 94-99% of the time, a loophole which could create challenges for some individuals taking the test. Since a positive saliva test can serve as the basis for an arrest, individuals who are not guilty of exceeding legal limits or using drugs may be charged anyway.
The tests are being purchased with taxpayer money, which raises concerns about their close, but not perfect, accuracy rate. Officers and supporters of the law claim that the saliva tests are more cost-effective when compared with blood tests. Evidence collection in a DUI arrest determination and the resulting case can be extremely important for the charged individual. If testing is faulty or the evidence was not collected properly, an innocent person could find himself or herself in a world of trouble for doing absolutely nothing wrong. That’s where a competent DUI attorney steps into the picture to ensure that all the pieces of the puzzle fit together. If you’ve been charged with a DUI, contact an Illinois DUI lawyer today to discuss your case.