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Illinois DUI Traffic Stop Tips

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 

Innocent people experience DUI traffic stops, and even arrests, without being intoxicated or impaired. Yet regardless of whether or not these individuals consumed zero alcoholic beverages or five, these stops all begin with the same commonality: probable cause.

For an officer to make a stop, he or she must have something against you to start. In other words, there must be enough reliable information to support a reasonable belief that you committed a crime. Examples include the following:

  • Apparent driving violations such as swerving or running stop signs;
  • Inspection violations such as a burned out light or too dark of tint; or
  • The car is registered to someone already convicted of a DUI.

Additionally, keep in mind that bad behavior can add to probable cause, which is triggered by the police officer’s initial observations of your driving behavior.

Use Proper Traffic Stop Etiquette

The best course of action is to roll down your windows before you stop. Doing so not only vents out any accumulated odors but also allows for easy communication. Ensure that your license, registration, and insurance documents are readily available. If possible, place them on the dash before the officer approaches, thereby shortening communication time and showing a sign of respect.

Understand the cop is in a position of authority. Behave courteously. If you act antagonistically toward him or her, then he or she will likely respond defensively. Also, keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times and politely answer questions. However, admit to nothing. The only information required of you are the three readily available documents. If the officer asks you if you have been drinking, optional responses include:

  • Would you like to see my driver’s license?
  • Why do you ask?
  • I do not feel comfortable answering questions without my attorney present. 

If the officer does not suspect that you were driving under the influence, then you will be released without any applicable violations.

Contact an Attorney 

If the officer stops and allows you to communicate with a lawyer, absolutely do so. If not, remember that you are protected by the Fifth and Sixth Amendments to remain silent and have your attorney present. If you have already passed all of these phases and are facing a hearing, there is hope. You do not have to accept the cards dealt. Contact a DuPage County, Illinois DUI defense attorney by calling McMahon Law Offices today. We proudly offer a free consultation to those in the Oak Brook and surrounding areas simply by calling 630-953-4400 today.

Sources:

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_a118.pdf

https://www.isp.state.il.us/traffic/drnkdriving.cfm

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