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Rolling Meadows, IL criminal defense attorney BUI

Summer is a beautiful time in northern Illinois. Temperatures rise and allow everyone to spend time outdoors after a long and cold winter. With one of the country’s Great Lakes next door and a sprinkling of smaller lakes and rivers throughout the state, boating and other watersports are a favorite summer pastime for many Illinoisians. Spending time with family and friends often includes alcohol, which can make for a fun time, but it can also cause issues if you are not responsible. In Illinois, operating a boat and operating a car are two very comparable things from a legal standpoint. Many people do not realize that there are laws in Illinois that make it illegal for you to operate a boat or other watercraft while you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you are charged with boating under the influence (BUI), the penalties can be harsh.  Therefore, it is important that you are aware of them so you do not unintentionally break them.

BUI Laws Do Not Apply Only to Alcohol

Just like driving under the influence (DUI), there are multiple ways you could be charged with a BUI. The Illinois Boat Registration and Safety Act states that a person is guilty of BUI if he or she is in control of the watercraft and:

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Arlington Heights, IL drunk driving defense attorney

If you are a driver, there is a good chance you will be pulled over by law enforcement for some reason during your lifetime. If you have ever been stopped by the police, you know the feelings of anxiety and fear that can manifest because of those flashing red and blue lights. Being pulled over because an officer suspects you are driving under the influence (DUI) is even more serious. DUI offenses are not taken lightly in the state of Illinois, and a conviction for a first offense could result in steep fines, the suspension or revocation of your driver's license, and even jail time. Although the uncertainty of a DUI traffic stop can be very intimidating, what you do after being pulled over can greatly impact your case. Below are a few common mistakes that people make after being pulled over on suspicion of DUI:

Admitting You Have Been Drinking

When the police officer first approaches your window, he or she will probably try to make small talk. This might include questions about where you have been or what you have been doing. The officer might even outright ask you if you have been drinking. While you should never answer that you have indeed been drinking, you should also never lie to the police. If an officer asks you if you have been drinking, you can inform him or her that you would rather not answer that question.

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Rolling Meadows, IL criminal defense attorney DUI checkpoint

Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI) is a serious criminal offense that not only puts yourself in danger but risks the lives of others as well. This is why law enforcement puts so much effort into reducing the number of drivers who commit DUI. One of the techniques police officers have found that is effective in catching DUI offenders is by using sobriety checkpoints. Although the constitutionality of sobriety checkpoints has been debated, they have repeatedly been deemed legal and not in violation of the Fourth Amendment by the U.S. Supreme Court. If you are facing DUI charges as a result of being stopped at a sobriety checkpoint, it is crucial that you understand your rights.

How DUI Checkpoints Work

Law enforcement personnel are permitted to conduct sobriety checkpoints at any time or place of their choosing, but there are a few rules that they must follow in order for a checkpoint to be legal. If police plan to establish a checkpoint, they are required to inform the public of the time and place of the checkpoint. They are not allowed to conduct a checkpoint at a location where it would cause a traffic jam or put drivers in danger. They must also use signs or lights to signal to motorists that they are entering a DUI checkpoint. In addition, all police officers and vehicles must be clearly marked.

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Rolling Meadows, IL criminal defense attorney marijuana DUI

As of January 1, 2020, Illinois became the 11th state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in the United States. Even though residents and visitors who are 21 or older can legally purchase and consume cannabis, there are certain restrictions on the amount that can be bought and where it can be ingested. The increased presence of marijuana in the state has had some people wondering whether or not they can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) if they are caught driving a vehicle while under the influence of cannabis. The short answer is yes.

Marijuana DUI Laws in Illinois

Under Illinois law, you can be charged with DUI if you operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, intoxicating compounds, methamphetamines, or “other drugs, including cannabis prescribed for medical purposes.” You are likely aware of the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit of .08, but there is also such a limit for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in your blood when you are driving a vehicle. In Illinois, a person is considered intoxicated if they are measured as having 5 nanograms or more of THC per milliliter of blood or 10 nanograms or more per milliliter of another bodily substance.

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Arlington Heights, IL DUI defense attorney

When you are pulled over because a police officer suspects that you are driving under the influence (DUI), you will probably be asked to take a breathalyzer test to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). In Illinois, you are legally considered to be driving under the influence of alcohol if your BAC is 0.08 percent or above. What you may not know, however, is that you can still actually be arrested and charged with DUI even if your BAC is below the legal limit. The best way to avoid a DUI arrest and conviction is to understand your rights as a citizen of Illinois and avoid putting yourself into risky situations. If you have been arrested for DUI, a skilled criminal defense lawyer can be an invaluable asset.

Alcohol Use Under the Legal Limit

The legal limit anywhere in the United States to be considered intoxicated is 0.08 percent, but that does not mean that you cannot be charged with DUI if your BAC is below that. Illinois law states that a person may not drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle if his or her BAC is 0.08 or more OR if he or she is under the influence of alcohol. This open-ended law allows police officers to use their judgment and determine whether a person is incapable of safely operating a vehicle, regardless of his or her actual BAC.

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