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Posted on in DUI Defense

Illinois drunk driving lawyerDriving under the influence, or DUI is defined as the act of operating a vehicle after the use of alcohol. In Illinois, the legal blood alcohol content, or BAC, is 0.08. If a person has a blood alcohol content above 0.08, then he or she will need to participate in a chemical test typically administered by the police.

2015 DUI Statistics

The blood alcohol content is based on the ratio of alcohol to blood or breath. An individual with less than a BAC of 0.08 may still be convicted of DUI if there is more evidence showing the driver’s impairment when operating a vehicle.

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Illinois DUI lawyer, Illinois defense attorneyDrivers who have had a few too many drinks before getting on the road pose a risk to themselves and others. Logically, police want to protect the community while also doing their job so they can provide for their families. In many cases, the field sobriety tests given at a stop are conducted illegally, regardless of intention. If the officer failed to adhere to the law and structure required to make a DUI stop or arrest, the integrity of the test becomes questionable. It is increasingly common for officers to wear or utilize video recording devices for a stop. This video evidence becomes useful in court.

Traditional FST Methodologies Are Inaccurate

Most of the commonly conducted field sobriety tests have been around for years, or decades. They say that if something is not broken, do not fix it. However, just because something is common practice does not make it right, either. The intention of the examinations is to determine impairment of psychomotor and cognitive functions. The theory is that if the individual is unable to follow directions and pay attention, they were not logically able to do so in a car. The three most frequent examinations are the “walk and turn,” the “one-legged stand,” and the "horizontal gaze nystagmus.” If any of the tests show any mistakes, notes claiming impairment go into the report. The pitfall of these tests is the situation in which the test is administered is not under normal circumstances. The surroundings and the experience cause adverse negative reactions, which also slow motor functions. The following factors have nothing to do with intoxication but can affect the results:

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DuPage County DUI defense attorney, driving impairment, marijuana DUI, Illinois DUI, DUI chargeAs marijuana becomes increasingly mainstream, legal questions arise. Although nothing has come to pass as of this writing, Illinois may become the next state to legalize recreational marijuana usage. 

In March 2017, two state lawmakers introduced legislation to both the House and the Senate which would make it legal for adults over the age of 21 to possess, grow, and purchase pot. If this occurs, or if you qualify for the already legal medicinal marijuana, or even if you are one of those who enjoys the recent decriminalization of small amounts of the substance, questions about impairment and driving come to mind. What constitutes DUI marijuana

Stoned Driving Laws 

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DuPage County DUI defense attorney, driving with a hangover, DUI charges, DUI laws, Illinois DUI defenseThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that between 2003-2012, 3,866 people will killed in crashes involving a drunk driver in Illinois. Additionally, 2.2 percent of Illinois drivers reported driving after drinking too much, as compared to the national average of 1.9 percent in 2012.

These statistics clearly show that driving while intoxicated is dangerous and deadly. But what about driving with a hangover?

Esurance, an Allstate Company, provides answers to this question and they are quite disturbing. In agreement with the CDC as to the hazards of driving under the influence, Esurance warns that studies indicate how driving with a hangover is just as dangerous.

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DUI, DuPage County  DUI defense attorney, DUI arrest, anonymous tip, officer arrestGood citizens are everywhere. Their behaviors mean no harm but to only help someone in need or to assist their community. However, occasionally a do-gooder reads a situation wrong. For instance, a person may report a home break-in. But what is actually occurring is someone who is locked out of their home and is trying to find a window accidentally left unlocked.

Anonymous tips from these individuals pour into police stations regularly, and a significant portion of these tips come from drivers or passengers on the roadway who report someone who appears to be DUI.

What Do Officers Do With This Information?

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Oak Brook DUI defense attorney, expunge DUI, DUI history, expungement, pleading guiltyThe human race has a tendency to take the path of least resistance—it is in our nature. A direct route is chosen instead of a scenic route. A quick fix serves its purpose over a complete overhaul. One chooses to pay a fine rather than going to court to have his or her story heard. Although in some cases it makes good sense to take the path with less stress and resistance, in others it creates more work and perhaps irreparable damage later in life.

For instance, if you are charged with a DUI, it may be tempting to plead guilty, avoid hiring an attorney, accept the consequences now, and expunge the conviction later in life, if it becomes a problem. Unfortunately, those plans may not work as anticipated.

Pleading Guilty is a Conviction

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DuPage County DUI defense attorney, DUI charges, drunk driving, alcohol and brain function, DUI chargeEach person reacts to alcohol differently, and some of the differences have to do with the tolerance level built up within a person's system. For example, a person who has never had an alcoholic beverage before is not encouraged to drink a 12-pack of beer. His or her body is not adjusted and will not know how to react.

Other factors that influence a person's tolerance to alcohol include how much the person ate during the day, his or her stress level, and body weight. However, despite tolerance levels, alcohol does have a physiological impact on the various systems of the body, which inevitably causes impairment and can result in a DUI charge.

Emotional Impact

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DUI laws, DUI defense, DUI arrest, DuPage County DUI attorney, summer DUIWhen it comes to holidays and DUI, people may consider New Year’s Eve and Christmas Day to have the highest number of fatal accidents. These holidays, however, are not the most prevalent for drinking and driving accidents.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Memorial Day and Independence Day rank higher than either of the other two. The only holiday ranking consistently higher is Thanksgiving Day.

Surprising Statistics

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teenage drunk driving, DUI, DUI defense, DUI charges, DuPage County DUI defense attorneySchool is out for the summer, and this free time encourages teenagers to find methods to fill the gaps. Unfortunately, idle hands can breed mischief. One go-to time-consumer for many teens is socializing, and alcohol consumption is often incorporated. However, alcohol and teens do not mix well, under any circumstances. Moreover, underage drinking and driving can result in a deadly outcome. If fortunate enough to be stopped by a police officer before an accident occurs, the consequences may still be life-altering.

Illinois Zero Tolerance Policy

In Illinois, it is illegal to be under the age of 21 and operate a motor vehicle with any trace of alcohol in the bloodstream. This policy is is known as a Zero Tolerance Policy for Underage Drinking. Even transporting alcohol in the passenger seat of a car is illegal, regardless of ownership.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_DUI-for-sleeping-in-the-car-Oak-Brook.jpgConsider the following scenario: You went out with friends and drank too much. You knew you were not safe to drive. Rather than wait for a taxi to pick you up and take you home, or ride home with one of your intoxicated friends, you decided to sleep off your intoxication in the car. However, your decision came under question when an officer knocked on your window and began demanding sobriety tests. Now, you are facing DUI charges and you were not even driving. How did this happen?

Not As Uncommon As You Might Think

DUI sleeping in a car is possible and relatively common. The Illinois criminal code broadly states that an individual may not be in actual or physical control of a vehicle while intoxicated. If you are sleeping, are you in real control of the vehicle? The following factors provide guidelines for these cases:

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Oak Brook DUI defense attorney, marijuana affects drivingMuch of what we do while on the road can be categorized as distracting—talking, texting, eating. These are just a few examples of everyday occurrences that keep us from driving at our best. Media outlets and printed articles distribute the impact of these distractions to a broad audience. However, one less discussed modifier is marijuana, perhaps because it is a controlled substance.

Although marijuana is not legal recreationally at this point in Illinois, there are bills in motion aiming to legalize the substance for consenting adults. Many have concerns over how this will affect DUI Marijuana charges. Yet how do drugs affect our driving performance?

Marijuana Effects On Driving

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DuPage County DUI attorney, drunk drivingThere are two things we have undoubtedly heard innumerable times to avoid while driving a vehicle: drinking and texting. Yet society as a whole continues to attempt these behaviors. Up until recent years, the most deadly mischief tried on the road was drinking and driving. However, with the rise in text messaging and social media, texting while operating a motor vehicle gives DUI stiff competition for the top spot on the most dangerous list.

For Your Well-Being

Which is more likely to bring danger to yourself or others? The answer is both as drinking and driving and texting while driving are unnecessary and extremely dangerous distractions, and each reduces a driver's response time.

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DuPage County DUI defense attorney, implied consent, breathalyzerWhen a person has been drinking, the effect that the alcohol has on the individual is determined by the amount of alcohol consumed and the rate at which the the body absorbs the alcohol. In general, it takes about one hour for the body to metabolize one alcoholic beverage. 

One frequently asked question centers around whether or not drivers must submit to a breathalyzer—a tool that measures the amount of alcohol in a sample of breath, known as the blood alcohol content (BAC)—during a DUI traffic stop. The following information may prove beneficial if you find yourself involved in a DUI traffic stop.

Illinois Implied Consent

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Posted on in DUI Defense

DuPage County, Illinois DUI defense attorney, DUI traffic stopAfter a night out involving a couple of adult beverages, the last thing anyone wants to see is police lights in his or her rear view mirror. The realization is a quick “buzz kill,” even if the “buzz” emanates from the feel-good time of a joyful night out rather than any alcohol. Rest assured that a DUI stop does not immediately mean the end of the world.

Like those before you, you will have your day in court to defend yourself. With a credible case, you may see that your charges are dismissed or reduced. However, there are steps you can take, both during and immediately following a traffic stop, that can help make the situation easier on you later.

Probable Cause 

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thc marijuana laws in illinois, DuPage County DUI defense lawyerIllinois has made significant strides toward more sensible marijuana regulations. Governor Quinn signed SB 2228 into law in 2016. With the signing of that bill, for the first time in Illinois, the courts did away with the "zero tolerance" policy regarding the operation of a vehicle while having Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in a person's system.

The way the law operates today is comparable to how the state regulates drinking and driving. In contrast to the way the old law worked where any presence of THC in a person's system was enough for a marijuana DUI conviction, the law now considers a tiered-based system. For example, the law mandates that someone is not allowed to operate a motor vehicle with more than 5 ng of THC per ml of blood or 10 ng of THC per ml of any other bodily substance.

Is Buzzed Driving the Same as Stoned Driving?

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DuPage County Bar Association Illinois State Bar Association 9.9Michael Francis McMahon Illinois Prosecutors Bar Association Michael Francis McMahonReviewsout of 6 reviews
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