Archive for the ‘Holiday’ Category

National Board Considers Changing Legal BAC Limit

September 10th, 2013 at 2:33 pm

Timothy Brown, a senior research associate at the National Advanced Driving Simulator in Iowa, according to the Chicago Tribune, “has put hundreds of drunken drivers behind the wheel.” His job is to simulate and then gather research regarding drunk drivers, to “better understand the difference in driving abilities of someone who is sober, someone who has had a few drinks, and someone who has had a few more drinks.” His work is especially timely, according to the Tribune, as the National Transportation Safety Board has recently announced that it is considering lowering the legal limit of blood alcohol intoxication from .08 to .05. National Board Considers Changing Legal BAC Limit IMAGE

Labor Day Weekend, which just passed, is one of the busiest weekends of the year for drunk driving arrests. This is largely because it’s one of the busiest times of the year for people on the roads: according to the Tribune, an estimated 30 million drivers were out on American highways and byways for the holiday weekend this year. Holiday weekends mean celebrations, and a large number of revelers celebrate with alcohol. Because of this, the Tribune cited that authorities were on high alert for “those who attempt the potentially dangerous mix of drinking and driving. But what constitutes dangerous driving is once again up for debate.”

National Transportation Safety Board Chairwoman Deborah Hersman told the Tribune that drunk (or impaired) driving was a “national epidemic.” Research, according to the Tribune, “suggests that lowering the legal limit of intoxication to .05 could save 500 to 1,000 lives a year.” Yet critics of changing the limit argue that slight alcohol impairment—two glasses of wine at a dinner party, a large beer at a sporting event—doesn’t differ much from “impairment caused by drowsiness, cellphone use, medication, aging” and other conditions.

If you or someone you know has been charged with DUI, regardless of what level your blood alcohol content was measured, don’t go through it alone. The most important first step is to contact a dedicated Chicago-area DUI attorney today.

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Campaign in Full Force this Labor Day Weekend

September 7th, 2013 at 9:11 am

Labor Day weekend is typically known as the last ‘official’ weekend of summer. Along with the parties can cookouts comes the stepped-up traffic enforcement details, including roadside safety checks and late-night seat belt enforcement zones.

This Labor Day, more than 10,000 police departments and law enforcement agencies across the country will be out in force to crackdown on impaired drivers for the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over crackdown.

KerryAt a recent press announcement, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said, “”Drunk driving remains a serious, deadly crime that all too often destroys the lives of innocent victims. We’re sending a message today that we will not tolerate drunk driving, so if you have had too much to drink, don’t get behind the wheel.”

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data, nearly 10,000 people are dying each year in drunken driving crashes: 27 people a day or one person every 53 minutes. Other statistics include:

  • In 2011, 3,371 people were killed in DUI crashes who were not the drunk driver.
  • 1,612 were passengers in a drunk driver’s vehicle, many of them too young to drive, including 91 children under the age of 15 years old.
  • 1,049 were motorists of other vehicles involved in a crash with a drunk driver.
  • 710 were pedestrians or bicyclists.
  • 6,507 were the drunk drivers themselves.

Here in Illinois, the Department of Transportation will partner with the Chicago Police Department, Illinois State Police and the NHTSA to educate the community about smart ways to travel this weekend, all part of the continued Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.

If you are arrested and accused of driving under the influence, contact an experienced Chicago-area DUI attorney to represent you. Even a first-time offender faces loss of license and serious fines and penalties if convicted.

I’ve Been Charged with my First DUI in Illinois- What Now?

June 4th, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Here in the state of Illinois, there are very strict laws regarding driving under the influence.  In many cases, you can face license suspensions or revocations, fines, and even jail time.  But what happens if you have been pulled over by an officer and charged with your very first DUI?

 Lara May 8If you have been charged with your first DUI, odds are your punishments will not be as harsh as they would be if you were a repeat offender, depending on the circumstances.

If you have been pulled over with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, you may face some of the following consequences: jail, fines, license suspension, or community service.

For your first DUI, it is possible for you to be looking at up to one year of jail time.  However, this sentence can be increased by up to six months if a child under 16 was in the vehicle with you. In regards to fines, you may face up to $2,500. Also keep in mind that you will probably end up paying for legal expenses, which can further increase this amount. A $500 minimum fine can be added to your original fine if your BAC is above 0.16%.  Another $1,000 minimum can be added if a child under 16 was in the vehicle.

If charged with a DUI, you could possibly have your license suspended for a minimum of one year, well as a possible vehicle registration suspension.  Community service is another likely consequence you will face, with 100 hours minimum if your BAC is over 0.16%, or 25 days if a child under 16 was in the vehicle.

While not as serious as a second or third DUI, your first DUI is still a very serious matter.  If you have been charged with a DUI, be sure to contact a dedicated Illinois DUI attorney to represent your case and answer any questions you may have.


Image courtesy of xedos4/Freedigitalphotos

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