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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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Rolling Meadows, IL reckless homicide attorney

As most Illinoisans know, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI) laws in the state are strict. You can be convicted of a DUI in Illinois if you are driving a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of more than 0.08 percent or if other evidence points to you being impaired while driving. Even a first-time conviction for DUI in Illinois can result in fines between $75 and $2,500, up to one year in jail, and a one-year driver’s license suspension. Those penalties can change, however, depending on the circumstances of your case. In Illinois, any DUI offense that results in felony charges is classified as an aggravated DUI. One of the most serious aggravated DUI charges is called reckless homicide.

What Is Reckless Homicide?

In Illinois, reckless homicide occurs when a person using a motor vehicle unintentionally kills another person because of actions that were likely to cause death or bodily harm to another person. Under normal circumstances, actions that could be considered reckless include those such as speeding or causing the vehicle to become airborne. If a driver is intoxicated, and he or she caused the death of another person while driving, the fact that the motorist was under the influence in itself constitutes reckless driving.

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Arlington Heights, IL DUI defense attorney

Across the country, arrests for driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol are being taken more and more seriously because of the dangers that drinking and driving poses to everyone on the road. In Illinois, DUI laws are relatively strict, and an arrest can result in serious consequences, even if you are ultimately not convicted. It can be an intimidating experience if you are arrested for driving under the influence. Many people do not know what to expect after they are arrested and resort to gathering and trusting the information they find on the Internet. While some of this advice may be correct, you should talk with a skilled Illinois DUI defense lawyer to make sure you have all the facts.

Expect a License Suspension

There are two sides to almost every DUI arrest, even if it is your first offense: the criminal side and the administrative side. This means you face both criminal charges and administrative penalties for driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. An arrest will not automatically result in criminal penalties for DUI. For that, you will have to go through the legal process. You will, however, face administrative penalties for being arrested in most situations.

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Rolling Meadows, IL DUI defense attorney

Nothing is free in this world -- not even getting in trouble is free. On the contrary, people who get in trouble with the law usually end up paying monetary costs for years because the fines and fees involved in criminal cases can be so expensive. In Illinois, being convicted of a DUI can be one of the most expensive criminal convictions. First-time DUI offenders are typically charged with a Class A misdemeanor, and a conviction could result in up to one year in prison, up to $2,500 in fines, and a one-year driver’s license suspension. What many people do not realize is that there are actually many more costs associated with a DUI conviction. Here are a few common, yet not necessarily obvious costs:

  • Increased Insurance Rates: After you have been convicted of DUI, you will be required to carry high-risk insurance, which costs more than normal insurance. Having high-risk insurance is required for at least three years. At $2,000 per year, insurance costs after a DUI conviction can cost you an extra $6,000.
  • Court Costs and Legal Fees: An uncontested plea and a hardship driving permit will cost you around $2,000. You can also expect to pay up to $2,500 in fines and court costs of $750 for a DUI conviction. You will also have to pay reimbursements to law enforcement for towing and vehicle storage fees, which are about $250, bringing the total to approximately $5,500.
  • Loss of Income: Missing time from work is not uncommon when you are charged and convicted of DUI. Jail time, community service, rehabilitation and/or remedial education classes can all lead to lost wages. A person who makes $55,000 per year can expect to lose four weeks of income, or an estimated $4,230.
  • Rehabilitation Services: If the court determines that you have a habitual and unhealthy relationship with alcohol, they may order you to attend substance abuse classes, counseling, and/or evaluations. Total rehabilitation costs can usually be around $300. 
  • BAIID Installation and Use: Driving while your driver’s license is suspended or revoked for DUI is not impossible, but it does come at a cost. You must have a BAIID installed on your vehicle for at least one year. The one-time installation fee is typically around $100. Monthly rental fees are around $80, and monthly monitoring fees are around $30, bringing your total for one year to $1,420.
  • Driver’s License Reinstatement Fees: Once you are eligible to have your license reinstated, you must attend a formal hearing at the Secretary of State’s office, which has a non-refundable fee of $50. Applying for a new license costs $30, and applying for a license after a suspension or revocation carries a reinstatement fee of $500.

Contact a Rolling Meadows, IL Criminal Defense Attorney 

Being convicted of a DUI is no joke. Not only will you have this conviction on your driving and criminal records forever, but you will also face an average DUI cost of $18,030. For most people, this is a huge financial burden that will take years to pay off. Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law understands the significant impact a DUI can have on your life, and he will do everything in his power to help you avoid a conviction. Call our skilled Arlington Heights, IL DUI defense lawyers today at 847-253-3400 to schedule a free consultation.

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Rolling Meadows driving under the influence defense lawyer

The state of Illinois has some of the strictest DUI laws in the country. Even for a first offense of driving while under the influence, you can lose your driving privileges. In fact, through a statutory summary suspension, your driving privileges can be taken away without ever even being convicted of a DUI if you fail or refuse to take a chemical blood alcohol test. If your driving privileges are suspended because of a DUI, you do have options for driving relief during your suspension period. Depending on your circumstances, you can get a monitoring device driving permit (MDDP) or a restricted driving permit (RDP), both of which require the installation and use of a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID). If you lose your driving privileges, here are a few things you should know about BAIIDs:

  1. A BAIID Uses Your Breath to Determine if You Are Sober

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