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Illinois DUI defense lawyerIn Illinois, if a driver’s blood-alcohol content (BAC) measures .08 or higher, they are automatically deemed guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol. Under the law, a driver is assumed to be too impaired to drive when their BAC is .08 or higher. However, you should be aware that, under certain circumstances, Illinois drivers can be penalized for drinking and driving with a BAC below .08.

Four Ways You Can Be Penalized for Driving with a BAC Below .08

Scientific studies have shown that alcohol begins to affects your judgment and reaction time starting from the first drink, well before your BAC reaches the .08 level. Therefore, some types of drivers are held to a stricter standard for highway safety reasons. Illinois law defines four ways you can be charged with DUI or otherwise penalized for driving with even a very low level of alcohol in your system.

While driving a personal vehicle, you could be charged with DUI if your BAC tests higher than .05 but less than .08. However, in this situation, in order for you to actually be convicted of DUI, the police must present other convincing evidence that you were actually too impaired to drive safely. The arresting officer would have to testify, for example, that you were driving erratically, failed field sobriety tests, and/or admitted to consuming other types of intoxicants in addition to alcohol.

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IL defense lawyerWhen someone is charged with driving under the influence, they are often cited for one or more petty traffic offenses as well. Why is that?

That happens in part because, as the latest driver safety campaign says, “If you feel different, you drive different.” You make poor decisions, like driving too fast.

But it also happens because the police need a valid legal reason for initiating a traffic stop. Typically, the reason stated for a traffic stop is that the driver committed a relatively minor infraction of the law such as speeding, running a stop sign, failing to wear a seatbelt, or even having a burnt-out tail light. After observing the stopped driver and vehicle up close, the officer may then determine that a DUI charge is merited. But by writing up the ticket for the original infraction as well, the officer documents “for the record” the reason for the traffic stop.

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IL defense lawyerThe Illinois courts have long upheld a doctrine known as the “one act, one crime” rule. This doctrine is regularly applied to criminal cases stemming from a single act of driving under the influence.

Illinois Law Defines Multiple Possible DUI Charges

When a person is arrested for DUI, they may be charged with multiple offenses. For example, someone who was impaired by alcohol may be written up on two charges for the same incident:

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Posted on in DUI Defense

IL defense lawyerIf you have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you need to act quickly to mitigate the potential consequences, which can include losing your driver’s license, paying a fine of up to $2,500, and more.

But before a judge can hand down a sentence, the state must prove that you are guilty of the crime. Even if you failed a breathalyzer or drug test, a conviction is not 100% guaranteed. With the help of an experienced DUI defense lawyer and a comprehensive investigation of your case, it may be possible to get the charges against you reduced or even dismissed.

The better you understand the legal process, the better equipped you will be to work with your attorney to develop the best possible defense. Toward that end, here is a brief overview of the process.

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IL defense lawyerIf you are caught driving under the influence in Illinois, part of the punishment is the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license. However, the state realizes that most people need to drive in order to earn a living and care for their families. The solution is the Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID), also commonly known as an in-car breathalyzer, blow-and-drive lock, or blow-to-go device.

Driver’s License Suspension for First-Time DUI Offenders

If you are arrested for DUI in Illinois and you either fail the evidentiary test (that is, your blood-alcohol concentration, BAC, is at or above .08) or you refuse to be tested, your Illinois driver’s license will automatically be suspended.

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