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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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Arlington Heights DUI defense lawyerBlood alcohol concentration, or BAC, is a measurement of the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream. Under the “rule of thumb,” it takes your body one hour to metabolize one drink, but there are several factors that can alter this. In fact, you might be driving much sooner than you should without knowing it. Learn more about how the body metabolizes alcohol and its influence your BAC levels, as well as more on what it could mean if you are pulled over by an officer, with help from the following information.

Factors That Can Influence Your BAC

Every person metabolizes alcohol differently, and there are numerous factors that come into play. For instance, a person with cirrhosis of the liver will typically metabolize alcohol slower than someone with a healthy liver. Other factors that can influence your body’s alcohol metabolism include:

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Illinois DUI defense lawyerLawmakers say that no amount of alcohol is considered safe for drivers, but one drink may not trigger a DUI arrest. So, just how much does it take before one is arrested on DUI charges, and how might your blood alcohol concentration impact your case? The following explains, and it provides you with some key details on how to fight back.

What is BAC?

Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream. Numerous factors, including weight, the number of drinks, gender, stomach contents at the time of consumption, and overall health can all impact this concentration. That can make determining your exact BAC after drinking rather difficult. Moreover, it can influence how long you must wait to drive after having one, two, three, or four drinks. If ever in doubt, play it safe and call a cab or designated driver to take you home; it is far better than taking the risk of a DUI arrest.

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implied consent, Fourth Amendment, Arlington Heights family law attorneyIn the state of Illinois, just as in most states in this country, when a person gets their driver’s license, there is “implied consent” that the person will submit to testing to gather a sample of their blood, breath, or urine to law enforcement if they have been arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If a person refuses to submit to that testing, their licence will be automatically suspended for one year. If it is their second or subsequent refusal, they will automatically have their license suspended for three years. This suspension of driving privileges is separate from the actual driving under the influence (DUI) charge or penalties if they are found guilty. However, a ruling by the Georgia Supreme Court regarding implied consent could have far reaching consequences on every state’s implied consent laws.

The case in question involved a man who was arrested in 2012 and charged with drunk driving. According to court records, the man was not advised of his Miranda rights, but the arresting officer read an implied consent notice and told the man to answer yes or no. The man was then taken to a medical facility where he had blood and urine samples taken.

Ability to Grant Consent?

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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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