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DuPage County DUI defense lawyerThe ubiquitous red Solo cup is likely to appear in your hand at some point during a seasonal party. Here are some handy tips to help you track your alcoholic beverage consumption in terms of the current standard, 18-ounce, squared Solo cup. Knowing how much you have consumed will help you stay safe and avoid the chance of an arrest for driving under the influence (DUI).

What Constitutes a “One Drink” of Beer, Wine, or Liquor

With today’s wide variety of alcoholic beverage choices, you really have to be aware of the alcohol content of your drink of choice. The number of ounces one “standard” serving varies from 1 ounce to 12 ounces:

  • Bourbon or whiskey labeled “barrel proof” or “single barrel” (120 proof, 60% alcohol): 1 ounce.
  • Standard liquor (80 proof, 40% alcohol): 1.5 ounces.
  • Wine, champagne, sparkling wine (12% alcohol): 5 ounces.
  • Imperial stout or double IPA (10% alcohol): 6 ounces.
  • Craft beer (6% alcohol): 10 ounces.
  • Regular beer (4.5% alcohol): 12 ounces.
  • Hard cider or hard lemonade (5% alcohol): 12 ounces.

How to Manage Your Consumption by Solo Cup

When mixing a cocktail, pour the liquor in first. 3 ounces will amount to about an inch of liquid in the bottom of your Solo cup. The liquid should just touch the bottom of the word Solo that is spelled down the side of the cup. Add mixer and ice, and that will be the equivalent of two drinks. (Let us assume the use of real glasses for those single barrel bourbons and whiskeys.)

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Illinois drugged driving defense lawyerWhen you think about driving under the influence (DUI), do you think the bigger issue is driving while intoxicated by alcohol, or driving while impaired by drugs, such as marijuana or heroin?

Drug-Impaired Driving Is a Growing Problem

Interestingly enough, fatal car crash data shows that the number of alcohol-impaired drivers killed has declined over the past decade, while the number of drug-impaired drivers killed has risen. Now, there is no nationwide standard protocol for alcohol and drug testing of drivers killed in car crashes, but a report issued by the Governors Highway Safety Association in May 2018 stated some concerning facts in relation to drug-impaired driving:

  • The number of known alcohol-positive drivers killed in a car crash decreased from 7,750 in 2006 to 5,473 in 2016;
  • The number of known drug-positive drivers killed in a car crash increased from 3,994 in 2006 to 5,365 in 2016;
  • Of those who were tested, nearly half of the drivers involved in a fatal crash tested positive for both drugs and alcohol; and
  • Of the drug-positive drivers killed, 38% tested positive for cannabis, 16% for opioids, 4% for both, and 42% for some other drug.

 One reason given for the increase in drug-impaired driving is the rise in opioid use, which includes illegal “street” drugs, like heroin and illegally manufactured fentanyl (a synthetic opioid), as well as prescription drugs like Oxycontin and Vicodin.

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DuPage County DUI defense lawyerIf you have at least one prior conviction for driving under the influence on your record, each new conviction has increasingly more serious consequences. The more DUIs you commit, the greater your chance of spending time in jail or even in state prison becomes.

You also need to be aware that, thanks to interstate data sharing agreements, DUI conviction in other states will count when an Illinois prosecutor or judge adds up the number of prior DUI convictions on your record. (A DUI arrest that resulted in a successfully completed court supervision will not be counted as a prior conviction.)

Likelihood of Spending Time in Jail for a Second DUI Conviction

Illinois classifies both a first DUI conviction and a second DUI conviction as Class A misdemeanors, punishable by a maximum of 364 days in county jail and/or a maximum fine of $2,500. A first DUI conviction has no mandatory minimum jail sentence, however, so a judge could conceivably let you off with supervised probation, a fine, and/or community service.

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Oak Brook DUI defense attorneyIt is important to understand what you are risking when you drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Illinois. State law categorizes even a first-time DUI as a class A misdemeanor crime, which is punishable by up to one year in jail, among other penalties. A more serious form of DUI, known as aggravated DUI, is a felony for which a judge can impose a sentence of multiple years in state prison.

However, those are maximum penalties, not the most likely. By looking at historical data, we can assess the likelihood that someone convicted of DUI will actually spend time in county jail or state prison. The circumstances of a first-time DUI will have a significant impact on the likelihood of your spending time in jail.

Jail Time Is Unlikely for Misdemeanor First DUIs in Illinois

Circumstance 1: First Offense with Successful Court Supervision. For a first-time misdemeanor DUI, the court may allow to you plead guilty and receive court supervision. If you fulfill all the requirements set by the court and successfully complete the supervision period, no DUI conviction will be entered on your criminal record. The court may require you to perform community service or pay fines, but the penalties will not include jail time or revocation of your driver’s license. Note that you will still have to serve out any statutory summary suspension of your driver’s license.

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DuPage County DUI defense attorneysWhen someone is arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), one of their biggest fears is the possibility of spending time in jail. There are two ways you could spend time in jail. First, if you are arrested for a DUI and cannot make bail, or if you violate the conditions of your bail, you could be held in jail until your case is settled. Second, if you are convicted of DUI, part of your sentence could include jail time.

Fortunately, recent changes in Illinois law and the increased use of electronic monitoring devices have significantly reduced the likelihood that DUI offenders will have to spend time in jail.

Misdemeanor DUI Arrest: Usually No Jail, No Bail

When arrested for a misdemeanor DUI in Illinois, most people are processed and immediately released on their own recognizance without having to pay bail. This includes most first-time and second-time DUI arrestees charged with a misdemeanor offense.

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