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Illinois DUI defense lawyersWhen a driver is suspected of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the police will do some preliminary tests, roadside. If the police believe they have probable cause for a DUI arrest, the driver will then be taken to a nearby police station (or sometimes to a hospital) for chemical testing. When the driver is finally released from police custody, yet another problem must be faced: what happened to their car?

Vehicles Used in DUI Typically End Up in an Impound Lot

Every police department has one or more authorized companies that can be summoned to tow and store vehicles that have been, for example, wrecked in an accident, illegally parked, or left at roadside following a DUI arrest. The police will inform a driver arrested for DUI where their car has been towed.

Towing and storage fees alone can easily add up to hundreds of dollars. The city or county where the DUI occurred may also charge an administrative fee since a city police officer or sheriff’s deputy had to take the time to arrange the towing.  In DuPage County, the administrative fee alone can be as high as $500.

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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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IL DUI lawyerYou have probably seen news stories about people who have been arrested for driving under the influence 10 or 15 times, and wondered, “15 DUIs? I thought Illinois was super-strict on DUIs. How was that person not already in prison?” In reality, Illinois law is very tough on driving under the influence. The state simply prefers to keep non-violent offenders out of prison, so they can be working and supporting their families, rather than being a huge financial burden on their fellow tax-paying citizens. In addition, multiple offenders often have records dating back to years when DUI laws and judges were far less strict than they are today.

The Case of the Man with 15 DUI Convictions

One Illinois citizen has had 15 DUI convictions dating back to 1982. His driver’s license was revoked years ago, but he continued to drive without a license, in at least one case showing police a fake ID. He has been arrested in at least 10 Illinois counties, been involved in collisions and committed various traffic violations.

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IL DUI lawyerA look at the Oak Brook Police Department’s DUI arrest record reveals a good tip for DuPage County drivers: do not drink and drive in Oak Brook, particularly on the area’s busiest streets and during peak traffic hours. The Oak Brook PD made 43 arrests in 2017 for driving under the influence, roughly in line with its average of 50 arrests per year in 2013-1016. That’s roughly one per week.

Unfortunately, the number of DUI-related car crashes in Oak Brook hit a five-year high of 18 in 2017, twice as many as in 2016. So, even if you are not driving while intoxicated, stay alert and drive defensively on the busy roads around the Oak Brook shopping mall, because some driver around you very well could be driving impaired. If you are involved in an accident, even if you are not at fault, no one wants to spend their free time dealing with insurance adjusters and body shops.

Note that across all of DuPage County, there were about 2,900 DUI arrests each year in 2014, 2015, and 2016.

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IL DUI lawyerMemorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer in Illinois, and anyone with a boat (or a friend with a boat) is eager to get out on the water. And what is a day on the water without a cooler full of ice and beverages? Just remember: Safety first. Nobody wants to end an otherwise good day on the water with somebody in the back of a police car—or worse, an ambulance. Drunk boating, also known as operating under the influence (OUI), is a serious offense in Illinois, akin to drunk driving on the road.

Operating a Watercraft Under the Influence Is a Crime

Under Illinois law (625 ILCS 45/5-16), it is a crime to be in physical control of a watercraft while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any other intoxicants that render the driver incapable of safely operating the watercraft. The term “watercraft” includes all motorized vessels including Jet Skis and all non-motorized craft such as sailboats, kayaks, and canoes.

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Illinois defense lawyerAlcoholic beverage drinkers can easily determine when they have drunk too much to drive. They can consult a simple chart that estimates blood alcohol concentration (BAC) based on gender, weight, and how many standard drinks they’ve had. Unfortunately, such simple charts do not exist for marijuana. So how can medical cannabis users know when they are safe to drive in Illinois and not get charged with driving under the influence?

Under current Illinois law, a THC level over 5 nanograms per milliliter of whole blood is per se (sufficient by itself) proof of marijuana DUI for most drivers. Illinois medical cannabis cardholders are exempt from the THC limit, but they can still be charged with DUI based on other evidence of impairment, primarily failure on the standardized field sobriety tests (walk-and-turn, one-leg stand, and follow-the-object eye test).

This article provides a basic explanation of how the body processes THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana associated with driver impairment, to help users understand how marijuana may affect their ability to drive.

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Posted on in DUI Drugs

Illinois DUI lawyerDriving under the influence of alcohol and driving under the influence of marijuana can cause serious injuries and even death if an accident was ever to occur. However, how each substance is measured is different. Individuals may use marijuana for medicinal purposes, but they still need to be aware of the potential dangers of driving after using the substance. Individuals are alarmed at what they find out about the dangers of driving after using marijuana.

What to Know About Marijuana Use and Driving

Three years ago, in 2014, there were about 7,000 individuals who started using marijuana or similar substances every day. During the weekend nights, as many as 13 percent of all drivers have some amount of marijuana in their system, compared to only nine percent of weekend nighttime drivers in 2007. Alcohol and marijuana are the two biggest contributors to drugged driving.

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Illinois defense lawyerIt is now the holiday season, and everyone is making plans for the holidays. Whether the plans are for Christmas Day or New Year’s Eve, alcohol is often involved in the social gatherings. It is best to prepare for an evening of drinking by determining who will be the designated driver, or if share riding may be the best option. If you do not follow these options and are caught drinking and driving, you could face very serious consequences. However, if you have been charged with a DUI, then you may be able to reinstate your driver’s license.

When Can a Driver’s License Be Reinstated after a Suspension?

If driving privileges have been suspended, then those privileges can be reinstated after the statutory summary suspension period has ended. For the driver’s license to be reinstated, the offender must make sure that all other suspensions and revocations on their driving record are be cleared, pay a $250 reinstatement fee to the Illinois Secretary of State after the first offense, pay an additional $500 reinstatement fee to the Illinois Secretary of State for repeat offenses, and make sure the reinstatement of driving privileges becomes valid. Reinstatement will go into effect when the information is entered into the driver’s record in the Secretary of State’s office when the termination date has passed.

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Illinois DUI lawyerHaving a fun night out with family and friends is a good way to spend any day. Unfortunately, there are many situations when that same fun night may end up in one behind bars. Nobody wants to go to jail for something they could have easily prevented, such as getting behind the wheel after drinking or using medical marijuana. However, there is a huge difference between driving after drinking alcohol and driving after using medical marijuana.

What Are the Legal Blood Limits for Alcohol?

When a driver is caught drinking and driving, he or she will most likely go through a breathalyzer test to determine how much alcohol is in the blood. The blood alcohol content (BAC) is based on the percentage of alcohol in the person’s bloodstream. The legal blood alcohol content is 0.08, but anyone with a BAC of 0.05 and 0.08 may be convicted of a DUI if there is further evidence shown that the driver was greatly impaired while behind the wheel.

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Oak Brook DUI defense attorney, expunge DUI, DUI history, expungement, pleading guiltyThe human race has a tendency to take the path of least resistance—it is in our nature. A direct route is chosen instead of a scenic route. A quick fix serves its purpose over a complete overhaul. One chooses to pay a fine rather than going to court to have his or her story heard. Although in some cases it makes good sense to take the path with less stress and resistance, in others it creates more work and perhaps irreparable damage later in life.

For instance, if you are charged with a DUI, it may be tempting to plead guilty, avoid hiring an attorney, accept the consequences now, and expunge the conviction later in life, if it becomes a problem. Unfortunately, those plans may not work as anticipated.

Pleading Guilty is a Conviction

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b2ap3_thumbnail_DUI-for-sleeping-in-the-car-Oak-Brook.jpgConsider the following scenario: You went out with friends and drank too much. You knew you were not safe to drive. Rather than wait for a taxi to pick you up and take you home, or ride home with one of your intoxicated friends, you decided to sleep off your intoxication in the car. However, your decision came under question when an officer knocked on your window and began demanding sobriety tests. Now, you are facing DUI charges and you were not even driving. How did this happen?

Not As Uncommon As You Might Think

DUI sleeping in a car is possible and relatively common. The Illinois criminal code broadly states that an individual may not be in actual or physical control of a vehicle while intoxicated. If you are sleeping, are you in real control of the vehicle? The following factors provide guidelines for these cases:

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