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Arlington Heights, IL criminal defense attorney DUI

It is very scary to see the lights of a police car and hear the siren any time you are on the road. When the officer approaches your window and starts asking questions, it is natural to be nervous. Law enforcement officers are often overzealous when they are trying to make an arrest, and they may say you are legally obligated to perform certain tasks. One of these might be submitting to a breathalyzer test. So, can you refuse the breathalyzer test? You can, but there are consequences you may face. Regardless of the choice that you make at the stop, an experienced DUI lawyer can help with your case.

Implied Consent Laws in the State

The law in Illinois states that all motorists have given implied consent to blood alcohol content (BAC) testing every time they get behind the wheel. However, this law only applies when you have been arrested for a DUI. This means that until the officer arrests you on suspicion of a DUI, you are under no obligation to submit to a breathalyzer test. Regardless of what the police officer says, they cannot force you to take the test unless you have been arrested. Even then, no one can physically force you to take the test, but there are consequences if you refuse.

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Rolling Meadows aggravated DUI defense attorneyIt does not matter what situation you are in when you are charged with a DUI - they are all serious charges. However, if you are found to be driving while intoxicated when a child is present in the vehicle, your punishments will be much more strict. In Illinois, penalties for DUI increase if a child under the age of 16 years old is riding in the vehicle - but it does not stop there. In addition to DUI charges, you can also face other criminal violations, such as child endangerment. You could also be charged with more serious crimes if the child suffered an injury because of you. 

DUI With a Minor in the Vehicle

According to the Illinois Vehicle Code, a first conviction for DUI is a Class A misdemeanor, which comes with a loss of driving privileges for one year, a possible sentence of up to one year in jail, and a maximum fine of $2,500. If you had a child in your vehicle while you were driving under the influence, that sentence is a mandatory minimum of six months in jail, a mandatory minimum $1,000 fine, regardless of your ability to pay, and 25 days of community service in a program that benefits children.

If you were convicted of DUI, and there was a minor under the age of 16 in the vehicle who suffered bodily injury because of an accident you caused, the penalties increase. Even a first offense is considered a Class 4 felony aggravated DUI. This means that in addition to any other criminal or administrative punishments, a mandatory $2,500 fine is imposed, and 25 days of community service in a program that benefits children is required.

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IL DUI lawyerA DUI conviction can be devastating - your freedom and your reputation can be at stake. Being convicted for DUI can mean serious consequences including the possibility of jail time and steep fines. When you fail a chemical test to determine your BAC during a traffic stop, you will automatically be subject to a statutory summary suspension, which is the Secretary of State’s administrative action of suspending your license. During the suspension period, you can apply for a monitoring device driving permit (MDDP) if it is your first offense, or a restricted driving permit (RDP) if it is your second or third offense.

What Is a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device?

If you are convicted of a DUI and wish to still have driving privileges, you are required to have a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) installed in your vehicle. A BAIID is a device that is installed in the ignition of an offender’s vehicle and measures the driver’s blood-alcohol content using their breath. The BAIID will not allow the vehicle to start if the driver’s BAC is determined to be over .025. The driver must blow into the device to start the vehicle and periodically blow into the device throughout their trip to prevent drinking after the vehicle has been started.

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