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Arlington Heights, IL drunk driving defense attorney

If you are a driver, there is a good chance you will be pulled over by law enforcement for some reason during your lifetime. If you have ever been stopped by the police, you know the feelings of anxiety and fear that can manifest because of those flashing red and blue lights. Being pulled over because an officer suspects you are driving under the influence (DUI) is even more serious. DUI offenses are not taken lightly in the state of Illinois, and a conviction for a first offense could result in steep fines, the suspension or revocation of your driver's license, and even jail time. Although the uncertainty of a DUI traffic stop can be very intimidating, what you do after being pulled over can greatly impact your case. Below are a few common mistakes that people make after being pulled over on suspicion of DUI:

Admitting You Have Been Drinking

When the police officer first approaches your window, he or she will probably try to make small talk. This might include questions about where you have been or what you have been doing. The officer might even outright ask you if you have been drinking. While you should never answer that you have indeed been drinking, you should also never lie to the police. If an officer asks you if you have been drinking, you can inform him or her that you would rather not answer that question.

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Rolling Meadows, IL criminal defense attorney DUI checkpoint

Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI) is a serious criminal offense that not only puts yourself in danger but risks the lives of others as well. This is why law enforcement puts so much effort into reducing the number of drivers who commit DUI. One of the techniques police officers have found that is effective in catching DUI offenders is by using sobriety checkpoints. Although the constitutionality of sobriety checkpoints has been debated, they have repeatedly been deemed legal and not in violation of the Fourth Amendment by the U.S. Supreme Court. If you are facing DUI charges as a result of being stopped at a sobriety checkpoint, it is crucial that you understand your rights.

How DUI Checkpoints Work

Law enforcement personnel are permitted to conduct sobriety checkpoints at any time or place of their choosing, but there are a few rules that they must follow in order for a checkpoint to be legal. If police plan to establish a checkpoint, they are required to inform the public of the time and place of the checkpoint. They are not allowed to conduct a checkpoint at a location where it would cause a traffic jam or put drivers in danger. They must also use signs or lights to signal to motorists that they are entering a DUI checkpoint. In addition, all police officers and vehicles must be clearly marked.

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Rolling Meadows, IL driving under the influence attorney

Being pulled over by the police for any reason can be a nerve-wracking experience. Something about those flashing red and blue lights in the rearview mirror can instill fear and anxiety in even the most innocent people. If an officer has reasonable suspicion that you are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, he or she will pull you over to further investigate. During the traffic stop, the officer will be looking for any sign that you are impaired beyond the point of safe driving. Before an arrest can be made, there must be probable cause. One of the ways an officer obtains probable cause is by performing field sobriety tests, such as asking you to walk in a straight line or stand on one foot. However, if an officer asks you to complete a field sobriety test, do you have the right to refuse in Illinois?

Field Sobriety Testing

The short answer is yes, you can refuse a field sobriety test. In Illinois, you are not legally required to submit to field sobriety testing if you are pulled over on suspicion of DUI. Even though you have the right to refuse a field sobriety test, it is important to understand that there might be certain consequences if you do not submit to testing. The purpose of using these kinds of tests is to establish probable cause so the officer has reason to arrest you. If you refuse to take a test, you should understand that the officer will then be even more determined to find probable cause to arrest you. Many officers will perform an arrest using your refusal to submit to field sobriety testing as probable cause for their suspicion.

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Posted on in DUI

IL DUI attorneyIn recent years, police have begun cracking down on drinking and driving, taking it more seriously than ever before. Because of the direct correlation between fatal accidents and alcohol involvement, police have modified and refined their methods for determining whether or not a person is under the influence of alcohol when they are pulled over. Often, police already have a suspicion when they pull a driver over that they are under the influence of alcohol and will then conduct field sobriety tests to gain enough cause to proceed with DUI charges. Field sobriety tests can be beneficial when used in a pinch, but their validity has been debated for years.

Initial DUI Detections by Police

When a police officer first pulls you over with the suspicion that you have been drinking, he or she will be looking for various signs of intoxication. These signs can be gathered by the senses during face-to-face contact before the officer even asks you to step out of your vehicle. Signs the officer might be looking for include:

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Illinois DUI defense lawyerIf you follow the news, you may know that Illinois is struggling to overcome its budget crisis. You may also know that the Illinois Department of Transportation’s funding for special patrols will expire before the holiday weekend. What you may not know is that this may greatly reduce the number of DUI roadblocks over Independence Day weekend. Still, it is important to know your rights because, per Round Lake Park Police Chief George Filenko, state troopers will still be on the lookout for intoxicated drivers.

Why the Crackdowns Exist

It might seem pretty annoying, having to deal with roadblocks, but the increase in them over holidays and other times of the year are meant to reduce the number of DUI-related crashes. Unfortunately, you can be unlawfully singled out, or you may be asked to complete a sobriety test and end up with a faulty positive for intoxication. To prevent this, it is important that you know your rights, including your right to an attorney.

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