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What Traffic Violations Most Often Lead to DUI Charges?

Posted on in DUI Defense

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.

What driver infractions are most commonly associated with DUI charges? A review of the court docket for one Chicago area court revealed some interesting findings.

Drivers should be particularly careful when stopped for offenses like these, so as not to give the police any reason to pursue a DUI investigation.

Improper Lane Usage Is a Top Reason for DUI Traffic Stops

Because alcohol and other intoxicants impair psychomotor and visual tracking skills, it is quite common for drunk drivers to have difficulty staying within their lane on the road, particularly through curves and turns. Thus, Improper Lane Usage is one of the most common tickets issued in conjunction with DUI charges.

An experienced DUI defense attorney can often challenge an officer’s claim of Improper Lane Usage by reviewing squad car video as well as interviewing both the accused and the arresting officer. The applicable Illinois law states that “a vehicle shall be driven as nearly as practicable entirely within a single lane” (625 ILCS 5/11-709). A single instance of veering out of one’s lane, for example, may be easily explained by an obstacle in the roadway or some other innocent reason.

Other charges often associated with DUI charges include speeding, disregarding a traffic control device or stop sign, and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

Police May Layer on Charges to Help Ensure a DUI Conviction

It is not uncommon to see someone charged with DUI plus multiple traffic offenses. The more traffic law violations observed by a police officer, the more cause they have to support DUI charges.

In one recent case, a driver charged with DUI was also cited for following too closely, improper traffic lane usage, improper turn signal, and driving 1 to 10 mph above the limit.

In another case, the driver was cited for a broken headlight, improper turn signal, following too closely, and improper traffic lane usage.

Choose an Experienced DuPage County DUI Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with DUI in conjunction with other traffic violations, consult an experienced DuPage County DUI defense lawyer right away. At McMahon Law Offices, we will make sure your constitutional rights have not been violated. Whatever charges you face, we will work aggressively to minimize the effects on your driving record and your life. Contact us at 630-953-4400 for a free consultation.








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