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Arlington Heights, Arlington Heights criminal defense lawyer, Arlington Heights drunk driving lawyer, drinking and driving, DUI, DUI arrest, DUI attorney, DUI charges, DUI lawyer, Illinois criminal defense lawyer, illinois dui attorney, refusing a chemical testReports indicate that approximately one-quarter of people pulled over in the U.S. refuse a breathalyzer test if asked. This can have serious consequences, even if you have not been drinking. Illinois driving laws include a clause that allows for a person’s license to be revoked purely on his or her refusal to submit to chemical testing when pulled over. In fact, a person can have his or her license suspended for a full year for refusing a breathalyzer test in Illinois. This is six months longer than if a person submits to a breathalyzer test and is found to have a blood alcohol content above the legal limit.

Recently, a Chicago guitarist was arrested for a drunk driving incident in which he allegedly struck and killed a pedestrian, and had a blood alcohol content that was twice the legal limit. However, when initially questioned, he refused to take a field sobriety test. He finally submitted to a breathalyzer nearly seven hours after the incident while he was in holding.

There are three types of chemical testing to determine sobriety employed by the state of Illinois—breath, urine and blood. According to DrivingUniversity.com, this is because in Illinois a statute of "implied consent" applies. By getting into your car and starting the ignition after you have been drinking, you automatically consent to a chemical test for alcohol in the event that you are asked. This is known as a "No Refusal" law. According to WGEM.com, there are currently nine states, Illinois included, that have No Refusal laws in place.

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Arlington Heights Criminal Lawyer, attorney, Chicago DUI, DUI lawyer, felony DUI, Illinois criminal defense lawyer, Illinois dui, illinois dui attorney, Illinois DUI Lawyer, underage drinkersIllinois has some of the toughest drinking and driving laws in the country, including a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinkers and felony charges for repeat offenders. Despite this, the problem of driving under the influence in Illinois continues to be a serious one.

According to the 2014 CyberDrive Illinois DUI Factbook, in 2012 there were more than 37,000 DUI arrests recorded by the Secretary of State’s Office. More than 300 people were fatally injured in an alcohol-related crash, accounting for 35 percent of all accident fatalities statewide in the same time period.

The penalties for drinking and driving are worse if the responsible person has an underage person in the car at the time of arrest. If the child is under 16, these penalties are even more harsh. A regular first conviction of DUI, for example, is a Class A misdemeanor, which results in the revocation of driving privileges and registration suspension. If a person is pulled over for DUI with a child under the age of 16—even if it is his or her first offense—the offender is additionally sentenced to a mandatory fine of $1,000 and 25 days of "community service in a program benefiting children," as noted in the Illinois DUI Factbook. Penalties are very strict if the child was injured while the driver was intoxicated. Any crash that resulted in bodily harm to a child under the age of 16 is automatically classified as a Class 4 Felony and carries an aggravated DUI charge.

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Arlington Heights criminal defense attorney, Arlington Heights DUI attorney, DUI charge, DUI laws, DUI lawyer, felony DUI, illinois dui attorney, underage drinking, underage DUI, zero toleranceIn the past decade, states have continued to increase coordinated efforts to stop or slow the rate of drunk driving accidents. According to the Illinois State Police, there are several levels of DUI charges and convictions in Illinois, though the state does have a zero-tolerance for underage drinking. This means that if a person is under the age of 21 and caught driving under the influence, he will be charged no matter what his blood alcohol level content was at the time of arrest (even if it was under the legal limit).

If an underage person is charged under the zero tolerance law in Illinois, his license will be revoked for three months if it is the first violation, or six months if he refused the blood alcohol test. If it is his second violation, his license will be revoked for up to one year, or two years if he refused the test. Neither stays on his permanent record. Yet an underage person in Illinois can also be charged under regular DUI laws. If an underage driver is arrested for DUI and his blood alcohol content is .08 or greater, he can receive a DUI conviction that stays on his permanent driving record.

Zero tolerance laws have been in effect in Illinois since 1995. While underage drivers only account for 10 percent of all licensed drivers in the U.S., according to the Illinois State Police, they "are involved in 17 percent of alcohol-related fatal crashes." Additionally, car crashes are one of the most leading causes of death for teenagers in the U.S. Every day, six people, ages 15–20, die in a motor vehicle accident.

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drugged driving, DUI, driving under the influence, Arlington Heights criminal defense lawyerCherise Wardlow, 39, was charged with "aggravated driving under the influence involving a death and a count of misdemeanor DUI," after an early April incident in Aurora, reports the Chicago Tribune. Wardlow, of Montgomery, tested positive for marijuana after hitting and killing a homeless pedestrian at about 4am on a February night. "She told police she heard a loud thump and immediately stopped and discovered she had hit the pedestrian," states the Tribune. The man, Donald L. Early, 54, was pronounced dead at the scene. A warrant was issued for Wardlow’s arrest, but the next day, reports the Tribune, she turned herself in and posted the $7,500 bond.

Driving after smoking marijuana is as common as driving while impaired from alcohol. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD), more than 11 percent of all drivers on the road during the weekend or nighttime tested positive for illegal drugs. "Even more concerning," the NCADD reports, is that a different study "found that 1 in 12 high school seniors reported driving after smoking marijuana."

While nearly 4,000 fatally injured drivers tested positive for illegal drugs in 2009, there is no blood test that can be definitively administered the way there is for alcohol. To combat this, many states—including Illinois—follow so-called per-se laws, which state that any amount of cannabis in one’s system when behind the wheel is a punishable offense, even if he or she has not smoked in days.

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DUI, traffic stop, DUI arrest, lawyer, attorney, drunk driving, driving under the influenceThe superintendent of Schaumburg schools was arrested for a DUI in February and plead guilty in early March to a reckless driving charge, according to the Chicago Tribune. Andrew DuRoss was dining at a restaurant and called the authorities to report a missing purse from his table. When the authorities arrived DuRoss was warned not to drive. When he was pulled over near the restaurant, "his blood alcohol level was 0.117, according to court documents," and as reported by the Chicago Tribune.

After his arrest, DuRoss received court supervision and "agreed to undergo alcohol counseling, wear an alcohol monitoring anklet for six months and pay $2,500 in fines and court costs." Because DuRoss took this part of the plea the DUI case against him was not pursued. "It’s been a humbling and very difficult experience for me and my family," DuRoss said after his hearing in court, according to the Tribune.

While his legal battles may be over, DuRoss’s brush with the law could have far-reaching consequences. The Schaumburg Township District 54 school board is planning to further discuss the case’s outcome in March. DuRoss, according to the Tribune, did not tell the board that he would plead guilty to the charge.

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