Archive for the ‘Illinois’ tag

Out-of-State DUI Reminders & Tips for Holiday Travels

December 18th, 2013 at 10:28 am

 As families and friends prepare to travel for the upcoming holidays, Illinois residents should be mindful of the rules of the road, and remember that celebrating visitors, charged with an out-of-state DUI, will face consequences in both their home state as well as in Illinois. And depending on the laws of a visitor’s home state, a driver’s license could be suspended or revoked automatically upon arrest.

DMV.org reports that Illinois has an aggressive anti-DUI program and arrests more than 50,000 people in an average year.” In fact, an Illinois DUI offense covers “all types of impaired driving, from driving drunk to driving while under the influence of drugs (whether prescribed, abused or illegal).” In addition, the “Illinois 2013 Rules of the Road” publication notes that when driving on Illinois roadways, drivers “automatically consent to submit to certain tests.” These types can include breath, blood and/or urine tests to help determine if an individual has been drinking or using any other drug or intoxicating compound before or while driving.” The publication also lists several rules to follow when pulled over by law enforcement.

  • Slow down and pull over safely as soon as possible.
  • Stay in the driver’s seat with both hands clearly in sight on the steering wheel until the officer instructs otherwise or the traffic stop is complete.
  • Do not exit the vehicle unless instructed to do so.
  • If you are suspected of drunk driving, cooperate with the officer(s) on scene. If you refuse to submit to breath, blood or performance tests, your refusal could result in loss of driving privileges.

Illinois residents should also remember that the state has a reciprocal agreement with other states, and if you are pulled over and refuse testing, it will still trigger a suspension of your license in Illinois. If you live out-of-state and were charged with a DUI while visiting or traveling through Illinois, contact an experienced Illinois Out-of-State DUI attorney today for a free case evaluation, and remember, please be safe this holiday season.

Should You Refuse A BAC Test?

December 14th, 2013 at 5:47 pm

After having a few too many drinks, you decide to drive home. You are extremely careful to stay on the right side of the yellow line, and you keep the car within the posted speed limit. However, despite your best efforts, a siren appears behind you. A police officer comes to your window, asks if you have been drinking. Even though an experienced Illinois DUI lawyer would tell you not to admit to having consumed alcohol, you inadvisably admit to having had a few drinks at dinner. The police officer asks you to step out of the car, and then asks you to submit to a field sobriety test. The police officer determines that you failed the test, and the police officer places you under arrest for DUI.

breathalyzer & sobriety test ImageThe police officer is going to ask you to submit to a test to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). This could take the form of a breathalyzer, blood, or urine test, or any combination of the three. You have a right to refuse to take any test. But should you?

Immediate Results of Refusal

Every driver is deemed to have given their implied consent to be tested for alcohol or drugs if they make use of the public roadways of Illinois. Refusal to take the test will result in a suspension of your driver’s license for 12 months minimum. If this is not your first time refusing a test, your driver’s license will be suspended for 3 years. What’s more, the fact that you refused the test can be used against you at your trial for DUI. However, an attorney can help you successfully fight both the DUI charges and license suspension.

Should You Refuse Anyway?

Conventional wisdom states that you should never give the police any evidence that could be used against you at trial. However, DUI is a unique problem, in that by withholding evidence from the police by refusing a test, your driver’s license is automatically suspended. What should you do in this scenario?

Once you are arrested, if you know that you are likely to fail any chemical test, you should likely refuse the test. Your license will still be suspended, but an Illinois DUI attorney may be able to attack the suspension, or get you a restricted driving permit to allow you to drive to get to work or pick up groceries. Further, you will not have provided the police with evidence to build their case.

No matter what you decide to do, a DUI arrest must be dealt with quickly, preferably by an attorney with experience. If you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI, contact an experienced DUI attorney today.

Per Se Drugged Driving Law Result in Felony DUI Charges

November 29th, 2013 at 3:40 pm

Willie Craft Sr., 58, of Urbana, was charged in mid-November “with two felony counts of driving under the influence and one count of reckless homicide,” according to the Chicago Tribune. Craft was piloting a pick-up when he went over a curb and “struck two students from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, killing one of them.” It was later discovered that Craft had marijuana in his system at the time of the crash, according to Champaign County State’s Attorney Julia Rietz and as reported by the Tribune. Craft was initially “cited for driving without insurance and improper lane usage,” after the incident, but according to Rietz it was upon further investigation that officials stated that Craft was driving under the influence. He was also “not properly treating his diabetic condition,” according to the Tribune. Per Se Drugged Driving Law Result in Felony DUI Charges IMAGE

Mimi Liu, 20, of Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood was killed in the crash, and another student was injured. According to Rietz, Craft “told officials he was driving on the day of the crash for the first time in three years with the intent of getting insurance for his vehicle.” He had previously stayed away from getting behind the wheel because of his diabetic condition, according to the Tribune. That day, according to the Tribune, Craft said that, “he did not eat breakfast that morning even though he knew he needed it to keep his blood levels up.”

According to NORML, a non-profit that works to reform marijuana laws, Illinois is one of a handful of states that enforces per se drugged driving laws, in which a driver who tests positive for an inactive THC metabolite can be slapped with a DUI. This byproduct, however, “may be present in the urine of daily cannabis consumers for several weeks, or even months, after past use.”

A Court of Appeals in Arizona earlier this year deliberated a case involving the per se law in Arizona, and upheld the validity of the state’s per se law. As an attorney told the USA Today, “as things stand, a person from Arizona could go on a snowboarding trip to Colorado or Washington state, where marijuana is legal… and then a month later… get stopped and be convicted of DUI.”

If you or someone you know is facing DUI charges because of the per se drugged driving law in Illinois, don’t go through it alone. Contact an experienced Illinois DUI attorney today.

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