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Posted on in Criminal Law

sobrietyThe breath or blood chemical test is usually the primary evidence in a DUI prosecution. But if such evidence is unavailable, typically because the accused exercised his or her right to refuse to provide a sample, the prosecution must normally rely on field tests.

Under the theory that "more is better," many officers employ a wide range of tests: reciting a portion of the alphabet, counting backwards from one number to another one, and even trick questions like "what was the year of your second birthday?"

However, there are only three field tests that are approved by the National Highway Safety Administration for use in these situations. And, each one is flawed in its own way.

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budget crisis, DUI evidence, Arlington Heights Criminal Defense AttorneyThe state of Illinois has been dealing with a financial crisis for the past four months, with lawmakers gridlocked on passing a new state budget. So far, many state agencies and non-profits that rely on funding from the state have been unaffected and are still receiving those funds. However, there are programs which are beginning to feel the sting of the budget impasse, which could eventually trickle down and affect the general public.

One of the areas that are feeling the brunt of lawmakers’ inability to pass a new budget is law enforcement training. A recent statement by the director of Southern Illinois Criminal Justice Training announced the cancellation of approximately half of the certification courses which police academy graduates attend. After November 1st, these classes will be on hold until further notice.

The Southern Illinois Criminal Justice Training unit provides training to over 1,500 officers in 27 Illinois counties. Funding for these classes come from court fees and traffic fines which are collected by the state. However, due to the budget crisis, these funds have been frozen, leaving the training center without the ability to fund classes to train new officers.

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Secretary of State, hearing, Kane County DUI defense attorneyWhen you are charged with DUI in Illinois, the only way to keep your driver's license from being suspended or revoked, even on a limited basis, is to demand a Secretary of State hearing. There are a number of myths about this proceeding, but the simple fact is that you have nothing to lose at a Secretary of State hearing, and everything to gain.

Common Misconceptions

Some people believe that the must say they are alcoholics at a Secretary of State hearing. There is a kernel of truth in this belief, in that most hearing officers want to hear the applicants say they are sorry for their behavior, and not just sorry they got caught. But there is no need for an unwarranted emotional confession; frankly, most hearing officers do not care.

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iid, DUI, illinois dui defense attorneyCiting statistics from a study conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan, a federal lawmaker has announced that she will be introducing legislation that will require all new cars manufactured by American companies to come equipped with ignition interlock technology in order to stop drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Ignition interlock devices (IID) measure a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC) the same way a breathalyzer does. When the device is installed on a vehicle, it requires a driver to provide the device with a breath sample in order for the vehicle to start. If the driver’s BAC is over a pre-programmed limit, the vehicle will not start. Many states, including Illinois, use these devices as criteria for reinstating the driving privileges of a person who has been convicted of driving under the influence.

The bill is being introduced by U.S. Representative Kathleen Rice (D-NY), a former District Attorney of Nassau County, NY. Representative Rice has been nationally recognized for the hard stance she has taken against drunk driving. In her press release announcing the proposed law, Rice discussed the University of Michigan study as indication that IIDs work toward preventing drunk driving, thus saving lives.

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Posted on in DUI

tow truck, impound law, Illinois Criminal Defense AttorneySweeping vehicle impound laws are popping up throughout the country, and Illinois is no exception. Since the fees accumulate daily, the total amount due quickly exceeds the car’s value, in many cases. If the police seized your vehicle as part of a criminal law matter, what are your rights?

Vehicle Impound Law

Chapter 625 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes is the primary vehicle impound law in criminal cases. Peace officer shave the right to seize a vehicle without a warrant in the following situations:

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