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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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Arlington Heights DUI defense attorneyBeing pulled over can be scary. Matters become worse when the officer comes to your window and asks you to step out of your car, or requests that you submit to a breathalyzer or chemical test. Do you really have to comply, though? What, exactly, are your rights in this situation? More importantly, what are the potential consequences for refusing to comply? The following explores these questions, and provides you with information on where to find help with your DUI case.

Ownership of a License and Implied Consent

When you applied for your driver’s license, and that application was approved, you gave what is considered “implied consent.” Essentially, this means that you gave consent, at that time, to be tested for impairment if an officer pulls you over or arrests you for suspicion of a DUI. Now, they cannot force you to submit to chemical or breath tests. They can, however, arrest you and suspend your license for failure to submit to chemical or breath testing.

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Illinois DUI defense lawyerGetting pulled over for a DUI is a nerve-wracking experience. It is also one that can make you feel powerless - as if you have to comply. You do have rights, however, and you should exercise them to the fullest extent. This includes your right to refuse a field sobriety test. Before you do, though, there are some things you should know. The following explains further, and provides you with some key information on how to ensure all of your rights are protected in the face of a DUI charges case.

The History and Use of the Field Sobriety Test

Developed and first implemented in the 1970s, the field sobriety tests are the standard method officers use to determine if a driver may be intoxicated. They are not quite as fail-proof as some might lead you to believe, however. In fact, sober people can find it difficult to pass the field sobriety test. This can be especially true for someone who suffers from a medical condition that causes poor balance or lack of eye coordination. One can also fail the test for other reasons that are completely unrelated to intoxication (i.e. fatigue, stress, etc.). Yet field sobriety tests are used to make DUI arrests each and every day.

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Arlington Heights DUI defense lawyerWhen you are arrested on a DUI (driving under the influence), your license is automatically suspended unless you choose to fight back. Would you really fight, though, if you know that you did drink, got behind the wheel, and tests showed you to be over the legal limit? Maybe not. In fact, many drivers in the same situation simply accept their “punishment.” Yet some of these drivers may not have ever been over the legal limit. The test may have simply been inaccurate. Sounds crazy, right? It is actually more common that you might think.

Field Sobriety Tests

Field sobriety tests have long been the standard test for establishing reasonable suspicion of intoxication while driving. What officers will not tell you is that this test is not easy to complete, even when you are sober. In fact, a couple of years ago, NBC asked some people walking around the mall to do the field sobriety test. All of them failed in one area or another. Some were just not very balanced people. Others were just too tired to focus enough mental energy on the verbal aspects of the test. Add in nervousness and a late-night stop into the mix, it is no wonder so many people fail this test.

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