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The Implications of Driving Under the Influence With a Minor in the Car In Illinois, more than 27,000 drivers were arrested for driving while intoxicated throughout 2017. If charged, a DUI can come with significant legal ramifications resulting in a mark on one’s criminal record, potential loss of driving privileges, and substantial fines. While any DUI charge should be taken seriously due to the punishments listed above, the charges can be even more significant if a driver is apprehended while a child is in the car. Below, we will take a deep dive into how a minor’s presence in your vehicle can increase the gravity of a DUI conviction

Driving With a Minor While Inebriated

According to Illinois law, there are a number of circumstances that can result in increased criminal punishment in a DUI case. For instance, if a driver is operating their vehicle recklessly (such as driving the wrong way on a one-way road), their DUI charge can be elevated to an aggravated DUI. One of the most common instances leading to more severe criminal punishment is a drunk driver traveling with a minor. 

While a first-time DUI offender’s charge will not be elevated from a Class A Misdemeanor if they are found with a minor (child under the age of 16) in their vehicle, they will face other consequences, including:

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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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DuPage County DUI defense lawyersWith over 900,000 residents, heavy traffic is a fact of life for DuPage County drivers. It also means you have a good chance of being in a traffic accident. Whenever an accident involves significant vehicle damage or personal injury, Illinois law requires you to summon the police and file an accident report. Even if you were not at fault in causing the accident, you could still find yourself in serious trouble. If you consumed alcohol, marijuana, certain prescription drugs, or any other intoxicants before getting behind the wheel, you could be charged with driving under the influence.

Statistics on Vehicle Collisions and Children in DuPage County

DuPage County reported about 21,000 collisions involving over 42,000 vehicles in 2016, an increase of 16 percent from 2011. Given that 37 percent of DuPage County households have children, around one-third of collisions in the county likely involve children.

In other words, if you drive while intoxicated in DuPage County, there’s a strong probability that you will get into a collision that involves a child.

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Chicago DUI defense attorneysEffective January 1, 2019, Illinois judges will be authorized to impose harsher sentences on anyone convicted of “wrong way” driving under the influence (DUI).

The new law, PA 100-1053, was passed in August 2018. It amends a section of the Illinois Criminal Code (730 ILCS 5/5-5-3.2) that lists the aggravating factors that a judge may use to justify extended-term sentencing.

How Extended Term Sentencing Applies to a DUI

Illinois law states that a driver who causes the death of another person while driving under the influence is guilty of a class 2 felony, punishable by 3 to 7 years in prison.

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Illinois DUI defense lawyerImagine this scenario: You had a few drinks uptown, started driving home, and got into a car accident. Do you know the correct actions to take next? Do you understand what can happen if the police have reasonable cause to arrest you for driving under the influence (DUI)? It is important for every driver to know what to do in this type of situation, even if you just had one drink and were not legally intoxicated at the time of the accident.

Do You Have to Call the Police to an Accident Scene in Illinois?

If you have a single-car accident, you only need to call the police and file an accident report if there is over $1,500 worth of property damage.

If your car collides with another motor vehicle or person, Illinois law requires you to stop, render necessary aid, and exchange identification and insurance information. The police must be called to the scene if there is property damage over $1,500 or if anyone is injured or killed.

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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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IL DUI lawyerWhen someone is arrested for drunk driving in Illinois, they will typically be charged with one of two crimes, either driving under the influence (DUI) or aggravated DUI.

An aggravated DUI charge results from driver actions that the state legislature has deemed particularly harmful or risky to public safety.

Aggravated DUI Is a Felony

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Posted on in DUI Defense

Illinois DUI lawyerSocial media can connect you to friends, jobs, DIY project ideas, and both fake and real news. But can it get you arrested? For two men in the Chicago area, the answer was “yes.”

Social Media Distraction Contributes to Aggravated DUI Charge

A 23-year-old Berwyn man had a little too much going on as he drove through the Cook County suburb of Lyons during the evening rush hour on Monday, October 9, 2017. Speeding through an intersection, he crashed into a work van carrying two men in their 60s, killing both. The responding police officers found the deadly driver still sitting in his car with earphones plugged in and, on his lap, a cellphone opened to a social media app. While hospitalized for his crash-related injuries, the Berwyn man was found to have both marijuana and cocaine in his system. Do you think he posted about his arrest on charges of Aggravated DUI and Reckless Homicide? Perhaps he used his social media skills to find a good criminaldefense attorney. As of March, 2018, he is still in residence at the Cook County Jail, where a judge ordered him held without bail.

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Illinois DUI lawyerYou might think of driving under the influence (DUI) as a mere traffic ticket, a misdemeanor violation, with punishments limited to fines and some temporary restrictions on your driving. But all Illinois drivers should be aware that the consequences of DUI can be far more severe than that.

Consequences of Aggravated DUI in Illinois

Consider the facts of this recent DUI conviction in DuPage County. A 31-year-old man was driving up Route 59 in West Chicago around 11 pm on December 5, 2014. Later testing would show that his blood alcohol content was 0.16, twice the legal limit in Illinois. As he approached an intersection, he collided head-on with a car that was making a left-turn in front of him, and both cars caught on fire. While the man suffered severe burns in the crash, the other driver was killed.

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Posted on in DUI Defense

Illinois DUI lawyerA nice evening on the weekend is perfect for any social gathering, whether for a birthday, wedding, or just an evening with family and friends. If alcohol is involved, it should not a problem if people partake in drinking. Where the act of drinking becomes a problem is when a person has had a little too much to drink and then attempts to drive back home. If anyone drives home after drinking, that person needs to know what the consequences may be if pulled over by law enforcement.

DUI and Penalties

A difference between a DUI charge and an aggravated DUI charge lies in the number of DUI charges the offender has committed, if the offender transported anyone 16 years old or under, and the offender’s BAC level.

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