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arlington heights DUI defense lawyerGetting pulled over by law enforcement can be a nerve-racking experience regardless of whether you have been drinking or not. Looking in your rear-view mirror and seeing those flashing lights can make you so nervous that it may feel like your heart will beat out of your chest. During this critical time, staying calm and remembering your rights are essential. 

The police officer walks to your window and asks if you have been drinking. Before you know it, the officer asks if you will consent to a breathalyzer test. You oblige and find out seconds later you have blown a number above 0.08 percent, the legal limit, and are immediately arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI). If you ever find yourself under these circumstances, it is critically important that you seek legal counsel from an experienced DUI attorney right away.

Illinois Law

When the results of a breath alcohol test are over 0.08 percent and an individual is arrested for drunk driving, the state has the authority to suspend the person’s driver's license for up to six months. In this scenario, the driver may be eligible for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit. This will usually require a car breathalyzer called a Breath Ignition Interlock Device. However, if you have another violation within five years, the penalty worsens to a 12-month license suspension with no eligibility for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit. For example, suppose the operator of a motor vehicle refuses to submit a chemical test. In that case, the individual's license will be suspended for 12 months for a first-time refusal and a Monitoring Device Driving Permit after 31 days. For any subsequent refusal, the license will be suspended for three years, and the driver will not be eligible for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit. 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1626849382-min.jpg Intoxicated driving charges are serious. There is a stigma attached to DUI convictions. You may face socioeconomic consequences in addition to any judicial penalties ordered. Even as a misdemeanor, a DUI can result in a term of incarceration, a loss of driving privileges, and steep fines. As a felony, the consequences may be even more dire. Particularly if someone was injured, courts take intoxicated driving seriously and are unlikely to show leniency. However, a conviction is not assured at the outset of the case. In our justice system, you have the opportunity to present a defense that may result in a dismissal or acquittal at trial. This is why you need a skilled attorney to carefully assess every aspect of your case in order to build the strongest defense possible. If you have been arrested for DUI, it is critical that you contact an attorney as soon as you are able to. 

Reasons Your DUI Case May Not Result in a Conviction

There are a number of legal tools an attorney may use to invalidate some critical piece of evidence or to raise reasonable doubt at trial. Potential paths to dismissal or acquittal may include: 

  • Invalid chemical testing result - Police officers must follow a highly specific procedure in order to obtain a valid biological sample to test for the presence of alcohol or drugs. Any missed steps, left-out precautions, or an uncalibrated instrument can result in an invalid test. 

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IL defense lawyerIn Illinois, our driving under the influence laws say that it is illegal to operate a vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs. Clearly, your car is a vehicle, as is your family’s SUV. A big rig is very clearly a vehicle, and CDL holders may be in even more trouble for drunk-driving one. However, there is still room for debate and confusion about what else constitutes a “vehicle.” Is your bicycle a vehicle? Will you get in trouble for drunk riding your bike home from the bar to avoid driving? What if your bicycle is electric and you do not have to pedal it? These are the types of questions you need answers to before you hop on any device meant to transport you while you are impaired by alcohol or drugs like cannabis. If you do find yourself charged with a DUI on an unusual vehicle, our attorneys can help you fight the charge.

Defining a “Vehicle” for Purposes of Illinois’ DUI Laws

In Illinois, the definition of a “vehicle” is somewhat broad. For purposes of determining whether you could get charged with a DUI for driving or riding it while intoxicated, the determining factor is what powers the vehicle. A “vehicle” is anything designed to transport a person or people, and that is not solely human-powered.

So, while a bicycle is designed to transport a person, it is not a “vehicle” for DUI purposes if it is a standard pedal-powered bicycle. However, slap a motor on that bicycle so that you do not have to pedal, and suddenly, you are back in DUI territory.

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Arlington Heights DUI Defense LawyerBeing accused of drunk driving already results in automatic administrative consequences, including suspension of your driver’s license. However, a drunk driving conviction has consequences that can threaten your freedom and significantly impact your future. Criminal and administrative penalties for driving under the influence depend on your past criminal history, driving record, and the circumstances of the drunk driving arrest. You could face heavy fines and substantial jail time.

If you or a loved one were arrested for DUI, it is important to understand your defense options. One potential DUI defense strategy is to question the veracity of the blood alcohol test results. Various problems can interfere with the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) testing process. If a blood test is not verifiable, it may be difficult to impossible for the prosecution to secure a conviction.

Blood Test Results Can Be Incorrect If These Issues are Present

There are two main ways of testing a person’s intoxication level. The first is to use a breath testing device commonly called a breathalyzer. The second is to directly test the person’s blood for alcohol. Blood tests may yield inaccurate results due to problems such as:

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Arlington Heights DUI License Reinstatement LawyerDriving while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol puts both the driver and other individuals in danger. Consequently, Illinois punishes driving under the influence (DUI) with both criminal consequences and driver’s license suspension or revocation. If you were arrested for drunk driving in Illinois, it is important to know what to expect. Automatic license suspension follows a DUI arrest and if someone is convicted of DUI, they face driver’s license revocation.

It may be possible to reinstate your driver’s license and regain driving privileges after a DUI. However, you will need to complete several steps to do so. The exact requirements a DUI offender must take are largely determined by the driver’s risk classification.

Alcohol Dependency and DUI Cases in Illinois

Individuals who are arrested for DUI are required to participate in an alcohol and drug evaluation. Many people facing drunk driving charges suffer from alcoholism or addiction. The evaluation is used to determine the extent of any addiction or substance abuse problems and the chances that a DUI offender will reoffend.

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