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Arlington Heights BUI defense lawyer

For many people, Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start to summer. Some people celebrate with picnics and barbecues, while others head to the lake for time on the water. In many cases, people enjoy drinking alcohol while enjoying these activities. However, what many people do not realize is that Illinois treats alcohol and boating very similar to the way it treats alcohol and driving. If you are convicted of boating while under the influence (BUI) of alcohol or drugs, you could face serious consequences, similar to driving under the influence (DUI) charges.

What Is a BUI?

The Illinois Boat Registration and Safety Act states that it is illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. A person is considered to be boating under the influence if he or she is in actual physical control of watercraft and one or more of the following apply:

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Rolling Meadows, IL License Suspension Lawyer

In the state of Illinois, DUI charges are taken very seriously. Prosecutors and law enforcement typically punish offenders to the fullest extent of the law due to the risk drunk drivers pose to the public. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 10,874 deaths resulting from car crashes involving drivers with a blood-alcohol level of .08 or higher in 2017. This means 29 percent of all fatal traffic accidents were caused by drivers who were under the influence of alcohol. 

Repeat offenders are punished even more harshly, which does not bode well for an Illinois man who is accused of committing his third DUI and his 12th offense of driving with a suspended driver’s license.

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Rolling Meadows, IL DUI Lawyer

For decades, various organizations in the United States have attempted to lower the number of DUI incidents and drunk driving deaths through a variety of methods. Despite many gains, fatalities continue. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 11,000 people died in alcohol-related traffic crashes nationwide in 2017. Because DUI deaths remain common, DUI laws have become more strict and judges have sentenced offenders harshly. 

One of the methods Illinois uses to deter DUI offenders from becoming repeat violators is by imposing driver’s license suspensions and revocations on those convicted of DUI. Still, many are given a chance to drive as needed to support themselves and their families.

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Illinois traffic violation attorney DUI distracted driving speedingThe winter holidays are generally the busiest time of the year for road travel. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), an estimated 54 million Americans traveled for the Thanksgiving holidays in 2018, with 48.5 million of those people traveling by road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that in 2017, 5,667 fatal crashes involving 14,199 people occurred in November and December alone. 

There are certain factors that Illinois state police have attributed to these fatalities, and these are referred to as the “fatal four:” speeding, DUI, distracted driving, and seat belt usage. Getting a ticket for any of these traffic violations can mean hefty fines and, in some cases, more serious punishments like driver’s license suspension or even jail time.

Speeding

Illinois police will be on the lookout for those who are speeding during the holiday season. Speed is one of the biggest factors in fatal crashes, which is why speeding is taken very seriously, especially if you are going more than 25 mph over the speed limit. If you are caught going 26-35 mph over the speed limit, you will be charged with a Class B misdemeanor. If you are caught going more than 35 mph over the speed limit, you will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor.

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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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