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How a DUI Conviction Can Impact a Driver Under the Age of 21 A charge of driving under the influence should never be taken lightly because the ramifications of a conviction can range from loss of driving privileges to potential jail-time. For drivers under the legal drinking age of 21, a DUI conviction can come with legal ramifications of increased severity. Alcohol is a leading risk factor in fatal car accidents among teen drivers, with more than 20 percent of all teen driving fatalities involving alcohol in some capacity. Because of this, law enforcement officials are constantly on the lookout for inebriated driving amongst teen drivers. If you or a member of your family have been arrested for intoxicated driving, it is time to seek out the assistance of a legal professional. 

The Legal Ramifications

In Illinois, underage drivers can be charged for simply driving with a blood alcohol content over 0.00. This state law is known as the zero-tolerance policy. According to the zero-tolerance policy:

  • An underage drinker’s first arrest with a blood alcohol content over 0.00 will result in a license suspension of six months; and
  • A second offense will result in a suspension of driving privileges for a two year period.

If your child is convicted of a DUI, they will face having a Class A misdemeanor on their criminal record. Not only will the conviction result in a two-year license revocation, but the charge could impact their ability to secure employment or be admitted to universities. Throughout 2017, a staggering 1,160 underage drivers in Illinois were arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If your child is facing a DUI charge, the first step you should take is consulting with an attorney you can trust.  

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How a DUI Conviction Could Impact Your Parenting Case When a person is arrested on DUI charges, it is important to recognize the monumental way in which their lives can be altered in the event of a conviction. Not only will a conviction constitute a Class A Misdemeanor and come with significant fines, but a conviction can also impact one’s ability to drive without restrictions and secure employment opportunities. In other instances, a DUI conviction can result in drastic changes to a person’s life, simply due to the timing of the case. Below, we will analyze just a few ways in which a DUI conviction could impact your child custody case, which Illinois calls the allocation of parental responsibilities. 

Implications of a Conviction 

When a parenting issue is taken to court, a judge will use a number of criteria to gain an understanding of which parent is most fit to meet the needs of the child. In Illinois, parents are awarded amounts of parenting time and decision-making authority based on their ability to display a certain level of responsibility and care towards the child. These are just a few of the ways in which a judge may consider a recent DUI conviction as they make their decisions:

  1. Irresponsibility: As the judge considers which parent should have the majority of parental responsibility, a large criterion they will consider is whether or not the parent is mature enough to raise a child independently. While driving under the influence does not mean that one is a bad parent, it certainly will not help your case as the judge considers your parental viability. 
  2. Substance Abuse: A DUI conviction is often the byproduct of one bad decision, but you can be confident that a judge will ask you questions regarding your use of substances, due to the recent conviction. You will have to demonstrate to the judge that you do not have a substance abuse problem and that the DUI was an unfortunate event. The last thing a judge wants to do is send a child into the arms of someone with a substance abuse issue. 
  3. Impact of the DUI Penalties: Because a DUI conviction constitutes a Class A misdemeanor, the impact on one’s life can be significant. For instance, a person can struggle to secure employment or housing opportunities. This may impact the way a judge views a parent as a provider. It should be noted that a parent with a restricted driver’s license essentially restricts the activity of the child, which may be taken into consideration as well. 

Contact an Oak Brook DUI Defense Attorney

At McMahon Law Offices, we are dedicated to assisting our clients throughout their criminal defense cases. In the case of a DUI, we fully understand the ways in which a conviction can impact a person long-term, and we will do everything in our power to avoid that legal outcome. To schedule a complimentary initial consultation with an experienced DuPage County DUI defense attorney, call us today at 630-953-4400. 

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Understanding the Ramifications of A DUI ConvictionThroughout the United States, hundreds of thousands of Americans are arrested for driving under the influence each year. In Illinois, more than 25,000 people are arrested for DUI on an annual basis. While driving under the influence of alcohol may be a common crime, a conviction can come with serious legal ramifications. Below, we will discuss just some of the ways that a DUI conviction can impact you. In the event of a DUI arrest, it is critically important to contact a criminal defense attorney that you can trust. 

How A Conviction Can Impact Your Life

When a person is convicted of DUI, the impact on their life can be severe. Recognizing this, it is paramount to work with a legal professional that will build a strong defense case in the hopes of ultimately avoiding a conviction:

  1. Loss of Standard Driving Privileges: According to Illinois state law, a first-time DUI offender will face a minimum license revocation period of one year. If the driver is under the age of 21, their license will be revoked for a minimum of two years. In Illinois, first-time DUI offenders may be eligible to regain their driving privileges after the installation of a Blood Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID). The offender will be forced to pay for the BAIID as well as a camera system that will allow law enforcement officials to witness the driver testing their blood alcohol level. Prior to installation, the offender must also take part in a substance abuse treatment program or alcohol remedial education course. 
  2. Significant Financial Toll: There is no question about the fact that a DUI conviction is costly. A first-time conviction comes with a minimum fine of $500. The perpetrator will also be forced to pay court fees, as well as other expenses such as installation for BAIID devices mentioned above. Because the offender will have to go through court sessions and take part in a minimum of 100 hours of community service, a conviction can result in a significant loss of work time. 
  3. A Mark on Your Permanent Record: In Illinois, a first-time DUI conviction constitutes a Class A Misdemeanor charge, which will remain on the convicted party’s permanent record. Having a significant charge on your criminal record can impact your ability to obtain employment, housing opportunities, and secure loans. In short, the long-term impact of a DUI conviction can far outweigh the cost of the initial expenses.

Contact an Oak Brook DUI Defense Lawyer

Recognizing the manner in which a DUI conviction can impact a person’s personal well-being, our team at McMahon Law Offices is fully committed to fighting against your charges. Through thorough conversations with our clients and examination of the arrest process, we will work diligently to develop a defense strategy that can minimize the legal ramifications of the charge. To schedule a complimentary initial consultation with an experienced DuPage County DUI defense lawyer, call us today at 630-953-4400

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Three Common Strategies for DUI DefendantsWhen a person is arrested on DUI charges, it is common to feel helpless. The arrest process can be frightening, and the thought of fighting a DUI charge can seem nearly impossible. However, there are a number of ways in which a skilled criminal defense attorney can craft a defense strategy that could help their client avoid a conviction and subsequent mark on their criminal record. Recognizing that even a first-time DUI conviction results in a Class A misdemeanor, temporary license revocation, and a significant fine, an experienced defense lawyer will do everything in their power to see the charges dropped. If you have been arrested for driving under the influence, speak with an attorney as soon as possible.  

How to Fight a DUI Charge 

When you initially meet with your attorney, the first step you should take is telling them everything you remember about the arrest. The initial conversation will allow your attorney to examine avenues they may take to develop a comprehensive and compelling defense strategy. 

  1. Lack of Reasonable Suspicion: In order for a law enforcement official to stop your vehicle, they must have a reasonable suspicion that you are breaking the law. Common reasons for a traffic stop can include speeding to swerving from lane to lane. If you are stopped without reasonable suspicion, all evidence obtained after the initial stop will be inadmissible in court. In order for you to be arrested on DUI charges, the officer must have probable cause to believe that you are in violation of state DUI laws. 
  2. Challenging Officer Testimony: In most DUI cases, the officer will believe that the person in question is inebriated due to the presence of common symptoms. In some cases, though, those symptoms may not be indicative of inebriation. For instance, a person may have bloodshot eyes due to allergies or sickness. A person may be suffering from slurred speech or irregular movement due to a medical condition rather than being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 
  3. Lack of Miranda Warning: While Miranda warnings are usually not a key aspect of DUI cases, they can play a role if a person is taken into police custody. If an officer does not recite the Miranda warning and a suspect says something incriminating while in police custody, the incriminating statement and any other statements will be inadmissible in court. Recalling the arrest process in its entirety can be critical to your attorney’s ability to craft a compelling defense case. 

Contact an Oak Brook DUI Defense Lawyer

At McMahon Law Offices, we fully understand the manner in which a DUI conviction can drastically impact a person’s livelihood. Understanding the ramifications of a conviction, we are prepared to do everything in our power to fight a conviction. If a conviction is unavoidable, we are prepared to guide you through the processes of regaining your driving privileges. To schedule a complimentary initial consultation with a knowledgeable Oak Brook, Illinois, criminal defense attorney, contact us today at 630-953-4400. 

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How Your Attorney Can Assist You Post-DUI Conviction In Illinois, more than 25,000 people are arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol on an annual basis. In some of these cases, an attorney can craft a strong defense strategy that will help their client avoid a conviction. These defense strategies can range from wrongful seizure to misdiagnosis of inebriation symptoms and, in some cases, can be incredibly effective. In other cases, a conviction is unavoidable. Below, we will go over just a few of the reasons why maintaining a working relationship with your attorney after a DUI conviction can be critical to ensuring a high quality of life. 

Appealing Your DUI Conviction

After your case has been settled in circuit court, it is common to feel hopeless if you have been convicted. In reality, it may be possible to appeal the outcome of the case to a higher court. Recognizing the fact that a DUI conviction can result in a significant mark on one’s criminal record and potential license revocation, an appeal can be the right decision in some cases. In the appeal process, a panel of judges will examine the evidence and determine whether:

  • The evidence was able to prove your guilt in absolution;
  • Any evidence was suppressed or should have been suppressed; or
  • The sentencing was excessive.

In order to provide yourself with a fighting chance throughout the appeal process, it is crucial to continue working alongside your attorney. 

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Examining DUI Arrests During Summer MonthsWith the summer months officially in full bloom, local law enforcement officials are on the lookout for inebriated drivers. It should come as no surprise that the number of DUI arrests is much higher during summer months when compared to other times of the year. A DUI can significantly impact your employment opportunities, approval for housing options, and ability to drive. Below we will take a deeper look into alarming statistics on drinking and driving during the summer, while also examining how a DUI could impact your livelihood.  If you are facing DUI charges, it is critically important to speak with a qualified legal professional immediately. 

Increased Surveillance for Summertime Drinking and Driving 

With so many people out enjoying various forms of outdoor recreation, there are bound to be an increased number of drunk drivers on the road during summer months. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Fourth of July represents one of the most dangerous days with regard to drunk driving. In 2017, 237 people were fatally injured in car accidents involving drunk drivers on the holiday. Recognizing this fact, law enforcement officials throughout the U.S. ramp up their surveillance for inebriated driving. 

In many cases, increased surveillance comes in the form of DUI checkpoints. It should be noted that it is not illegal for a person to turn around and avoid a checkpoint, as long as the turn is executed in a legal fashion. It is also important to note that it is not a criminal offense to refuse chemical testing, but the driver will face a one-year license suspension. The driver will be eligible for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit. 

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Developing a Relationship with Your Attorney in a DUI Case The ramifications of a DUI conviction can be life-changing. A first-time DUI conviction is a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois, which can lead to a significant fine, potential jail time and a mark on one’s criminal record. Outside of the immediate legal ramifications, the conviction can hinder one’s ability to land employment, housing opportunities, or loans. Recognizing the manner in which a person’s life can be impacted by a DUI conviction, it is incredibly important to hire a quality attorney. Once you have hired an attorney you can trust, it is time for you to begin developing a relationship and working on your DUI defense strategy. 

Working With Your Lawyer

In order for the attorney-client relationship to work to its greatest potential, the two parties must be in lockstep throughout the trial process. In order to develop a comprehensive defense strategy that will help you secure minimal legal punishment, you must be willing to work with your lawyer in the following ways:

  1. Be Honest: Working with your attorney is like speaking with your doctor. You want to provide your doctor with the most accurate information possible, in order for them to evaluate you properly. In legal instances, you need to provide your attorney with an accurate depiction of the events that led to your arrest, in order for them to develop the right defense strategy. Being completely transparent can be a difficult step to take but is an incredibly important one. 
  2. Focus on the Details: As your attorney goes over the events centering around your arrest, it can be helpful for you to bring out the details of the arrest process. Did the officer read you your Miranda rights once you were taken into police custody? What was the driving offense they cited for pulling you over? Do you have allergies or a medical condition that could have lead to a false diagnosis of inebriation? As your attorney prepares their defense strategy, the details can be the difference between winning and losing. 
  3. Trust the Process: As you approach your court date, you should understand the importance of remaining cordial and professional. If you lash out in court or make irrationally aggressive decisions, you could jeopardize the entire case. Remember that the trial process is not about your attorney, but about you. Your actions can make or break the likelihood of avoiding a conviction.  

Contact an Oak Brook DUI Defense Lawyer

At McMahon Law Offices, our team is entirely dedicated to representing our clients to the best of our ability. We understand the manner in which a DUI conviction can impact one’s livelihood, and we will develop a comprehensive defense strategy geared toward avoiding a conviction altogether. To schedule a comprehensive initial consultation with a skilled DuPage County criminal defense attorney, call us today at 630-953-4400. 

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Examining the Most Probable Causes for a DUI Traffic Stop When a police officer is patrolling the streets at night, they are on the lookout for all types of criminal activity. While surveying other drivers, they are most cautious of inebriated drivers. While a police officer may presume that almost every driver on the road at 2 a.m. is possibly under the influence, they are not able to pull over a driver for a traffic stop without a legitimate reason. Below, we examine the most common reasons why people are pulled over for DUI traffic stops.  

Likely Reasons for a DUI Stop

Once a police officer has pulled you over, it is likely that they will be looking for signs of inebriation. While you are not legally obligated to engage in conversation with the officer (simply offer them the necessary documents they need to process your driving information), the officer will be able to gather further information regarding your potential levels of intoxication, simply based on coming into contact with you. For instance, an officer will immediately look at a person’s eyes, smell their clothes and breath, and listen for signs of slurred speech. Because this process of gaining evidence can be critical in a DUI arrest, it is important to understand that a police officer is not legally allowed to pull you over unless you are violating traffic laws.  

The most common reasons people are pulled over in DUI traffic stops include:

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Factors That Can Cause A False Positive Breath TestAfter being charged with a DUI, it is entirely common to feel hopeless. In reality, the arrest is just the first step in the legal process. Through diligent communication with your attorney, you may be able to develop a strategy that can ensure that you avoid a conviction. One of the most common DUI defenses is a false positive breath test. Below, we will examine the most common reasons why a Breathalyzer could mistakenly indicate you are over the legal limit. In the event of a DUI arrest, speak with a legal professional immediately. 

Reasons for a False Positive 

If you are notified that you are over the legal limit of 0.08 blood alcohol content, it may seem like you have no choice but to accept your criminal punishment. In some cases though, a Breathalyzer’s results can show up as positive due to extraneous circumstances, such as:

  1. Medications: In some cases, a Breathalyzer may indicate that a person is intoxicated due to medications that a person has ingested. Most notably, cold and flu medications can cause a jump in a person’s blood alcohol content. In these instances, it is paramount to speak with your attorney immediately. 
  2. Medical Conditions: Unfortunately, some people are falsely accused of driving under the influence due to preexisting medical conditions. For instance, people with diabetes can have high levels of acetone in their breath, which can cause a Breathalyzer reading to show up much higher than the blood alcohol content actually is. In other instances, a medical condition can impact a person’s speech, balance, or mobility, prompting the officer to falsely believe they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 
  3. Types of Food: While somewhat uncommon, the digestion of certain foods can have a serious impact on a person’s ability to pass a breath test. Some foods such as pizza can result in a failed test due to the fermentation of the food. In other cases, ingestion of vinegar can falsely indicate that a person has been consuming alcohol. 

Contact an Oak Brook DUI Defense Lawyer

The ramifications of a DUI conviction can be life-changing. Outside of potential jail time, a conviction can result in significant fines, loss of driving privileges and difficulty securing employment. At McMahon Law Offices, we are prepared to develop a defense strategy that will make a conviction as difficult as possible. A DUI charge is a serious offense, and you deserve the most qualified defense lawyers in the greater Chicago area. To schedule a complimentary initial consultation with a skilled DuPage County DUI defense attorney, call us today at 630-953-4400.  

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Examining Common Misconceptions of DUIs and Alcohol ConsumptionA majority of the adult population in the U.S. consumes alcohol on a somewhat regular basis. Unfortunately, many people elect to drive after they have been drinking. Throughout 2017, more than 27,000 people were arrested on DUI charges in the state of Illinois. In other words, law enforcement officials are increasing surveillance and other tactics to fight the drunk driving crisis. There are a number of misconceptions related to the implications of a DUI conviction and alcohol consumption in general. Below, we will examine these misconceptions and explain their invalidity. In the event that you are charged with driving under the influence, you need to seek out quality legal representation immediately. 

  1. I Drank Some Coffee: It is not entirely uncommon for a person to have too much to drink and still want to drive home. In these instances, people regularly grab a cup of coffee, eat some food, or hop in a shower to prepare themselves for the drive. Many people believe that these tactics expedite the process of sobriety. In reality, the only thing that can make you sober is letting an appropriate amount of time pass. You may feel sober after your shower or coffee, but you still may be legally intoxicated. 
  2. I Will Not Lose My Driving Privileges: With the sheer amount of people that elect to drive drunk each year, it is safe to say that people underestimate the implications of a DUI conviction. Many people believe that a DUI charge will simply result in fines and legal fees, and that life will go on per usual. In truth, a DUI conviction can cost you your driving privileges. According to the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office, 91 percent of drivers arrested for driving under the influence lost their driving privileges because they were eligible for license suspension or revocation. Even a first DUI conviction can result in a one-year license revocation. For drivers under the age of 21, Illinois’ no tolerance policy results in an automatic license suspension. 
  3. I Did Not Drink That Much: While people enjoy going to the bar to watch their favorite team play or going to a restaurant for a romantic dinner and a few glasses of wine, it is important to know one’s personal limit. There are a number of factors that can impact a person’s level of impairment, including the person’s gender, their environment, their weight, the amount of food they have consumed, their alcohol tolerance, and their mood. Even if your friend has drunk the same amount as you, you may not both be experiencing the same level of intoxication.

Contact a DuPage County DUI Defense Lawyer

When a person is charged with a DUI, it is critically important to act quickly. The first and most important step one can take is hiring an attorney they can believe in. At McMahon Law Offices, we are confident in our ability to advocate for our clients’ best interests and assist in securing the most favorable legal outcome possible. To schedule a complimentary initial consultation with a skilled DuPage County DUI defense attorney, call us today at 630-953-4400. 

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Common Mistakes Made During a DUI Arrest and Trial No one likes being pulled over. When those lights turn on behind your vehicle, it is common to lose your composure. Yet it is important to understand that the decisions you make during your traffic stop can dramatically impact your case. If you are ultimately charged with a DUI, the decisions you make throughout the legal proceedings can alter the likelihood of a conviction. Below, we will examine some of the most common mistakes made during both DUI arrests and throughout the subsequent legal proceedings.  

Forgetting Your Rights

While many people assume that the most seamless way to navigate a DUI stop is through complete and total cooperation with law enforcement, that is not always the case. Obviously, if you have not consumed any amount of alcohol, you can expedite the traffic stop through cooperation. In other cases though, it may be important for you to exercise your rights. For instance, if a police officer is asking you questions regarding the amount of alcohol you have consumed, you have no legal obligation to answer them if you believe it might incriminate you. 

If a police officer requests that you take part in chemical testing at some point throughout the arrest proceedings, you are not legally obliged to submit yourself to testing. While refusing to submit to chemical testing is an administrative offense that will result in temporary loss of driving privileges, it is not a criminal act and will therefore not be seen on your permanent record. 

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Understanding Your Options At a DUI CheckpointAccording to the Illinois Secretary of State’s Department, upwards of 27,000 people were arrested statewide on DUI charges throughout 2017. The incredible number of arrests is largely related to increased efforts by law enforcement to apprehend inebriated drivers. One of the most notable steps the state has taken is to implement a high number of DUI checkpoints. When one approaches a DUI checkpoint, it is entirely common to feel like they have no options but to pull up to the checkpoint and adhere to the officer’s wishes. In reality, there are a number of choices you can make to avoid being charged with driving under the influence. If a drinking and driving charge does ultimately occur, seek out quality legal representation immediately. 

Recognizing Your Rights at a Checkpoint

DUI checkpoints have always been highly controversial. In any other traffic stop situation, a police officer has to have reasonable suspicion for stopping a vehicle. In other words, a driver must be violating the law in some capacity to warrant a traffic stop. In 1990, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that DUI checkpoints do not require probable cause because the breach in privacy is ultimately geared towards increasing driver safety. Because of this, many people are unaware that they have options as they approach a DUI checkpoint:

  1. You Can Turn Around: When people see a DUI checkpoint, they assume that they will be stuck going through the checkpoint. If for whatever reason you do not want to take part in the checkpoint, you are legally allowed to turn around and avoid the checkpoint altogether. As long as the turn is executed in an entirely legal fashion, the police would have no reasonable suspicion for pulling you over. If they do apprehend you after your execution of a legal turn around, your lawyer could argue that you were unlawfully seized. 
  2. You Can Refuse Testing: At a DUI checkpoint, it is common for law enforcement officials to intimidate drivers into adhering to their wishes. If an officer asks that you take part in chemical or field sobriety testing, it is important to understand that you can refuse to participate in the tests. An officer may tell you that refusing a DUI test is illegal, but they would be either incorrect or strategically lying. Refusing to take part in chemical testing is an administrative offense, not a criminal offense. This means that the person refusing the test may face some consequences, such as temporary loss of driving privileges. This is different from having a blemish placed on their permanent record or being charged with a crime. 
  3. You Can Refuse to Answer Questions: When an officer begins to ask you questions, it can be difficult to avoid answering them. Most of us were taught to obey law enforcement and cooperate. In reality, answering questions regarding your drinking can be the first step towards giving them the right to ask for testing and ultimately charge you with a DUI. If an officer asks if you have been drinking, you are better off telling the officer “I would rather not say” than admitting to drinking or lying about it. Even if you have only consumed two drinks throughout the night, those drinks could add up to more than the legal limit of 0.08 blood alcohol content. You could hurt your credibility if you are proven to have lied to the officer about drinking. While it is always important to be respectful, it is equally important to understand your rights. 

Contact an Oak Brook DUI Defense Lawyer  

After a DUI charge, it is important to act quickly. At McMahon Law Offices, we will examine the proceedings behind the traffic stop to see if the officer acted negligently in any manner. In many cases, officers commit errors at DUI checkpoints that could warrant a case being thrown out in court. A DUI conviction can impact your ability to drive, secure employment, and pay your bills. Fortunately, we are dedicated to doing whatever we can to help you avoid a conviction. To schedule a complimentary consultation with a skilled DuPage County criminal defense attorney, call us today at 630-953-4400. 

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Regaining Your Driving Privileges After a DUI When a person is convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, their life can be impacted in a number of ways. A conviction can result in significant fines, potential jail time, and a mark on your criminal record. Unfortunately, a conviction can also lead to loss of driving privileges. In Illinois, a first-time DUI conviction will result in a one-year license revocation period, and subsequent offenses can constitute a more significant period of revocation. Below we will explore the steps you need to take to ensure that you will still be able to legally drive after a conviction. In the event of a DUI arrest, contact a qualified attorney immediately. 

Permit Options

According to the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office, there are two primary driving permits a person can apply for if they are convicted of DUI: 

  • A Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP); and
  • A Restricted Driving Permit (RDP). 

An MDDP is a driving permit that will enable the offender to drive to and from any location, as long as they equip their vehicle with a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID). A BAIID is a device that will allow the vehicle to start only after the driver blows into their device and is found to have no traces of alcohol in their system. An RDP is a driving permit that will allow the offender to drive their vehicle to and from locations that are critical to their family’s livelihood. These locations commonly include their place of work, the grocery store, or the school their children attend. 

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What Are Common DUI Defense Strategies?When a person is convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol, the legal implications of the conviction can be significant. If convicted, a first-time DUI offender could face up to one year in prison, fines as high as $2,500, and a license revocation of one full year. Recognizing the potential life-changing ramifications of a conviction, it is critically important to seek out legal assistance if you are facing drunk driving charges. Through a number of defense strategies, a quality attorney may be able to help you avoid a conviction. Below, we will examine some of the most common and effective DUI defenses. 

Police Misconduct 

When a police officer pulls you over and arrests you on suspicion of DUI, they must follow a specified protocol throughout the arrest proceedings. Failure to adhere to this protocol could be grounds to have evidence thrown out. According to state and federal law:

  • if you are suspected of driving under the influence and are taken into police custody, police are required to give you Miranda Warnings prior to questioning; and
  • Prior to administering a chemical test, an officer is required to warn you that refusal to submit to testing or failing the test may result in loss of driving privileges.

Testing results and incriminating statements may be inadmissible in court if the officer fails to follow these procedures.

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The Implications of Multiple DUI Convictions When a person is charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, it is important for them to fully understand how a conviction can impact their life. In Illinois, the average DUI expenses can be in excess of $10,000. When factoring in increases in your auto insurance plan, blood breath testing fees, and fines for the crime, it should come as no surprise that the immediate financial ramifications of a DUI conviction can be significant. When a person is convicted of multiple DUI offenses, their life can be drastically changed forever. Below we will examine the impact of multiple DUI convictions and how said convictions can alter a person’s financial security and quality of life. 

How Multiple Drunk Driving Charges Can Impact You

According to Illinois state law, the potential legal ramifications of a DUI become much more severe in the event of a second or subsequent conviction. While a second DUI conviction is still a Class A Misdemeanor (just like a first-time DUI conviction), the offender will face a minimum of 5 days in jail, as well as a license revocation of 5 years.

If aggravating factors are present, the criminal punishment of a second conviction will be much harsher than in the first conviction. For instance, a first-time DUI offender who is apprehended with a blood alcohol content that is twice the legal limit (.16 or higher) will face larger fines and 100 hours of community service. In your second DUI case, a blood alcohol content of .16 or higher will constitute a Class 4 felony charge. 

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The Financial Impact of a DUI ConvictionMore than a million people in the U.S. are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol each year. In Illinois, 27,046 people were arrested on DUI charges in 2017 alone. In the event of a DUI charge, it is important to act quickly in order to avoid potential jail-time, fines, and loss of driving privileges. Outside of the criminal punishment of a DUI, the monetary impact of a conviction can be significant. Below we will explore the true cost of a DUI. 

What a Conviction Can Cost

As you prepare to go through the court process, you need to understand the hidden expenses that accompany a DUI conviction. In many cases, these expenses can seriously impact your family’s livelihood. According to the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office, the average cost of a DUI conviction is $18,030. After a DUI charge, most people view the monetary impacts of a potential conviction solely in terms of fines. While these fines can be significant (a first-time DUI conviction comes with a minimum fine of $500), the most costly expenses of a conviction are rarely talked about:

  • Your insurance payments can rise by a final cost of $6,000;
  • Court costs, including the fine, reimbursement for law enforcement, and court fees, can end up being as much as $3,500; and
  • If you are eligible for a restricted driving permit, the purchase and installation of a blood alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) can cost upwards of $1,000. 

Yet, some of the most significant financial ramifications of a conviction come in lost work hours. After a conviction, most offenders are unable to work due to time spent in jail or hours spent performing community service. In lost work hours alone, the average Illinoisan can lose more than $4,000 in income. Fortunately, with quality legal representation, you may be able to avoid a conviction altogether.  

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How to React to a License Suspension or Revocation in Illinois There are a number of traffic violations that can result in loss of driving privileges in Illinois. From aggravated speeding or reckless driving charges to a charge of driving under the influence, it is important to understand how to react to a traffic violation. Having your driver's license suspended or revoked can significantly impact your livelihood. In the event of a DUI conviction, the likelihood of revocation of some length is very high. If you face charges for driving under the influence, speak with a quality attorney right away. 

Driving Permit Options 

According to Illinois state law, a first-time DUI offender faces an automatic minimum license revocation of one full year. Fortunately, a first-time offender can qualify for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit. (MDDP). In order to secure an MDDP, a person must install a blood alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) and camera into their vehicle.  

The BAIID will ensure that the person cannot start their vehicle with any traces of alcohol in their system. The camera gives local law enforcement officials the opportunity to view the driver taking part in the breath test. It should be noted that a driver with an MDDP can operate any vehicle with a BAIID and drive to any location. If a person is apprehended while driving a vehicle that is not equipped with a BAIID, they could face substantial fines and potential jail-time.  

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How to Safely React to a DUI Traffic Stop It is common to panic when you are pulled over on the suspicion that you may be driving under the influence of alcohol. Seeing those red and blue lights behind your vehicle can spark a wide array of emotions. As you prepare to pull over and speak with the law enforcement official, it is important to remain calm and operate your vehicle in a safe manner. If you are charged with a DUI, you still have a number of options at your disposal. Speaking with a qualified defense attorney can help you in finding the best course of action, moving forward. 

Remain Calm, Stay Safe

According to the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State, the vast majority of DUI arrests occur between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m., on weekends. When officers are patrolling at night, they are likely prone to take increased precautions due to the amount of night-time criminal activity and their lack of visibility. Below are three tips you should follow if you are pulled over:

  1. Find a Safe Place to Stop: Once the officer turns on their lights, indicating that they have noticed unusual or negligent vehicle operation, it is important for you to find a safe place to pull over. While you should try to pull over in a timely fashion, safety is the top priority. Avoid pulling over at a curve in the road or in a place with a limited shoulder. If necessary, safely pull into a parking lot. Recognize the fact that other vehicles may not be aware of the traffic stop, and avoid the temptation to come to a sudden stop.
  2. Remain Calm and Respectful: As the officer approaches your vehicle, you need to remain composed. Do not leave the vehicle, and make sure that both your hands are visibly resting on the steering wheel. Avoid making sudden movements, and only remove your hands when the officer requests your driver’s license or insurance information. The manner in which you speak to the officer can go a long way in your case. By remaining calm and speaking to the officer in a respectful manner, you are ensuring that the situation will not escalate, and your cooperation may be useful in a courtroom setting.
  3. Know Your Options: While it is important to be respectful, it is also important to know your rights. If the officer asks you to take part in chemical testing, it is not mandatory for you to comply. Refusing to take part in chemical testing is not a criminal offense. While you will face an automatic one-year license suspension, you may avoid a DUI charge on your permanent record. If you have any questions regarding your options in the event of a traffic stop, we would be happy to answer them. 

Contact an Oak Brook DUI Defense Lawyer

In the event of a charge, the first step you should take is hiring a defense attorney that you can believe in. Even if you refuse chemical testing and are simply cited for a statutory summary suspension, a quality lawyer can ensure that you secure a restricted driving permit (RDP). In the event of a DUI charge, it is important to take the charges incredibly seriously. Even a first-time DUI conviction can result in substantial fines, a mark on your driving record, and difficulty securing housing and employment opportunities. 

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Should You Refuse a Breath Test? Throughout the U.S., more than 1 million drivers are arrested on driving under the influence charges each year. In Illinois, state police are constantly patrolling for inebriated drivers. In 2017 alone, 27,046 DUI arrests were made throughout the state. The implications of a DUI conviction can be incredibly severe. According to Illinois state law, a first-time DUI conviction constitutes a Class A misdemeanor and can lead to potential fines and even jail time. 

Due to the severe punishment of a conviction, many drivers refuse chemical testing after being pulled over on suspicion of drinking and driving. Below, we examine the legal impacts of a chemical test refusal. If you are arrested on DUI charges, seek out quality legal guidance right away. 

What a Test Refusal Could Mean For You 

When you apply for an Illinois drivers license, you are consenting to a number of requirements, including submitting to blood alcohol content (BAC) testing at an officer’s request. The most common form of BAC testing is a breath test. It is important to note that a refusal to submit to chemical testing is not a criminal offense but an administrative offense. That said, violation of the consent law does come with some consequences:

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What an Underage DUI Charge Could Mean For Your Child Consumption of alcohol as a minor (a person under the age of 21) is against the law in Illinois. Getting behind the wheel of a car, after consuming alcohol, can be especially dangerous for people under the legal drinking age. Due to the inherent danger of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the legal consequences of a DUI charge can be incredibly severe. If your child is charged with a DUI, it is important to speak with a legal professional. 

The Zero Tolerance Law 

In 2017, a staggering 397 drivers under the age of 21 lost their driving privileges due to violations of Illinois’ Zero Tolerance law. According to the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office, the Zero Tolerance policy was officially established in 1995. The law states that if a driver under the legal drinking age is found with traces of alcohol in their system, they may face driver’s license suspension. It is important to note that a minor does not have to be driving with a blood alcohol concentration over the standard legal limit of 0.08 to be in violation of the Zero Tolerance policy. Violation of the zero-tolerance policy results in a mandatory three-month license suspension. 

The Legal Consequences of an Underage DUI

Penalties for underage drivers are more severe if their BAC is 0.08 or higher. A first-time DUI conviction is a Class A misdemeanor, which can result in fines up to $2,500 and as long as one year in prison. For drivers under the age of 21, even a first-time DUI conviction automatically amounts to a two-year driver’s license revocation. For minors, restricted driver’s permit (RDP) eligibility is not warranted until the second year of the revocation. 

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