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Arlington Heights DUI defense attorneyThis year is coming to a close, and another one will soon begin. As per the annual tradition, many will be ringing in this new year with their friends, family, coworkers, and acquaintances at parties, events, and get-togethers. Knowing this - and the propensity for people drink at these gatherings - Illinois law enforcement is planning to make a “final push” for road safety over the New Year. Learn what you need to know about DUI checkpoints, DUI testing, and your right to quality legal defense with help from the following information.

DUI Checkpoints This New Year’s

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation and Illinois State Police, there will be more than 200 law enforcement agencies across the state engaged in this final push for road safety. They will be running seat belt checks, DUI checks, and setting up DUI checkpoints. That means almost any driver - intoxicated or not - could be at risk for a traffic stop. If suspected of a DUI, these extra stops could also place numerous people in jail over the holiday season - some of which may not have even been intoxicated at the time of their stop.

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blood test, Arlington Heights criminal defense lawyerIn 2011, an Illinois man was driving down a street in Lisle when a couple ran in front of his car. The driver was unable to stop in time, and the vehicle hit the woman, who subsequently died from her injuries. The driver was charged with aggravated DUI, but a judge later dismissed those charges based on insufficient evidence and calling into question the accuracy of the state’s forensic crime labs.

Troubling Inconsistencies

According to reports, when law enforcement arrived at the scene, they tested the driver’s blood alcohol content level (BAC), which lab reports later said registered at 0.086. The legal BAC limit in Illinois is 0.08. In the course of the investigation by the defense, it was discovered that there had been an internal audit of the Illinois State Police Laboratories regarding blood alcohol test inaccuracies. The audit reported “75 percent of the whole blood controls analyzed exceeded two standard deviations,” which would produce inaccurate or invalid results.

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BAC, Arlington Heights drunk driving defense attorneyIn Illinois, just as in each of the other 49 states, a person who is driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher is considered legally intoxicated. However, there are cases where a person can be charged with drunk driving when they have a BAC of .05 to .08, if law enforcement produces additional evidence pointing to a driver’s impairment.

The BAC is determined by the ratio of alcohol to a person’s blood, and can also be estimated by testing samples of his or her breath. Alcohol is absorbed quickly, going from a person’s stomach, into the bloodstream, and then traveling up to the brain. The first traces of alcohol can usually be detected within 30 minutes to an hour after a person has had a drink.

Many people are under the impression that the type of alcohol they drink makes a difference – but that is a mistake. A typical drink contains about one-half ounce of alcohol. This is roughly the amount of alcohol which is found in a typical 5-ounce glass of wine, a 12-ounce beer, or a “shot” of distilled liquor.

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Arlington Heights DUI defense attorney, DUI arrest, field sobriety tests, FST, Scott F. Anderson, agility testsField sobriety tests, or FSTs, are a critical part of a DUI arrest. If an officer suspects that a motorist may be intoxicated, the officer nearly always asks the driver to perform these agility tests. These tests also indicate whether or not a person is mentally impaired.

There are a number of FSTs, but only three have been approved by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The arresting officers always say that the defendants failed the tests, and therefore they were arrested. By challenging the results, an attorney may be able to show that there was no probable cause for a DUI arrest and a case may be thrown out.

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus

Most people are familiar with the HGN test. The test administrator, who is nearly always the officer, asks the subjects to follow a point with their eyes without moving their heads. The point is usually the tip of an ink pen in daylight hours and a flashlight at night. Nystagmus is an involuntary eye jerk. If there are four or more clues between the two eyes, the subject may have a BAC of at least .08.

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Arlington Heights, Arlington Heights criminal defense lawyer, Arlington Heights drunk driving lawyer, drinking and driving, DUI, DUI arrest, DUI attorney, DUI charges, DUI lawyer, Illinois criminal defense lawyer, illinois dui attorney, refusing a chemical testReports indicate that approximately one-quarter of people pulled over in the U.S. refuse a breathalyzer test if asked. This can have serious consequences, even if you have not been drinking. Illinois driving laws include a clause that allows for a person’s license to be revoked purely on his or her refusal to submit to chemical testing when pulled over. In fact, a person can have his or her license suspended for a full year for refusing a breathalyzer test in Illinois. This is six months longer than if a person submits to a breathalyzer test and is found to have a blood alcohol content above the legal limit.

Recently, a Chicago guitarist was arrested for a drunk driving incident in which he allegedly struck and killed a pedestrian, and had a blood alcohol content that was twice the legal limit. However, when initially questioned, he refused to take a field sobriety test. He finally submitted to a breathalyzer nearly seven hours after the incident while he was in holding.

There are three types of chemical testing to determine sobriety employed by the state of Illinois—breath, urine and blood. According to DrivingUniversity.com, this is because in Illinois a statute of "implied consent" applies. By getting into your car and starting the ignition after you have been drinking, you automatically consent to a chemical test for alcohol in the event that you are asked. This is known as a "No Refusal" law. According to WGEM.com, there are currently nine states, Illinois included, that have No Refusal laws in place.

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