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IL DUI lawyerOne of the tools that the state of Illinois uses to find and deter those who are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is by conducting sobriety checkpoints. The Supreme Court of the United States has held that sobriety checkpoints do not inherently violate any constitutional rights, as long as they are conducted in a legal manner. In Illinois, this means the time, date and location of the sobriety checkpoint should be announced to the public prior to it taking place and signs and/or lights should be used to designate the checkpoints. Being pulled over for DUI can have a significant impact on your life, which is why it is important to understand that you do have rights when you are stopped at a sobriety checkpoint in Illinois.

You Have the Right to Turn Around and Avoid the Checkpoint

The first thing you should understand is that you are not required to go through the sobriety checkpoint. Police officers are required to clearly mark DUI checkpoints and make them visible to drivers. If you see a DUI checkpoint coming up and you do not wish to go through it, you are legally permitted to avoid the checkpoint, as long as you can do so safely without breaking any laws. However, you should be aware that nearby officers may be watching for drivers who avoid the checkpoint and may pull you over for doing so.

You Have the Right to Avoid Answering Questions

One of the first things an officer does after pulling you over is try to gather probable cause for an arrest. Just like any other traffic stop, you have the right to remain silent. The only information and documents you are legally required to furnish when asked is your driver’s license, your vehicle registration and your proof of insurance. Probable cause can also be established by sight or smell, so you can choose to keep your windows rolled up and refuse to speak with the officer, however, you must also understand that if the officer requests that you step out of the vehicle, you must adhere to the order.

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IL defense lawyerWhen teens get behind the wheel of a car after they have consumed alcohol, they have a higher chance of getting into an accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), car crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers, with a fourth of those crashes involving an underage driver who has been drinking. The NHTSA reports that drivers between the ages of 16 and 24 made up 39 percent of drivers involved in fatal alcohol-involved crashes. Illinois has adopted a zero tolerance law, meaning that if an underage driver is found to have any alcohol in their system, they will lose their driving privileges. Being charged with an underage DUI is a serious offense, so it is important that you understand the penalties.

Legal Penalties for Underage Drinkers

Under the Zero Tolerance law in Illinois, an underage driver who is found to have alcohol in their system can be subject to penalties under the Zero Tolerance law, but also DUI laws.

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IL defense lawyerAlcohol is not a new invention--National Geographic states that the Chinese were making a type of alcohol as long as 9,000 years ago. Humans have loved alcoholic beverages for thousands of years, and while the beverages themselves have been refined and the way humans use alcohol has changed, such as the prevalence of DUI’s, the effects that it has on us has not changed. Here are five interesting facts about alcohol and the human body:

  1. Moderate Drinking Can Be Good for Your Health

A study that was recently concluded at the University of Sao Palo’s Biomedical Science Institute in Brazil has finally pinpointed the enzyme that allows moderate alcohol use to benefit your heart. Scientists have proposed that alcohol has certain health benefits for years, but now the specific reason why has been discovered. The study showed that when alcohol is consumed in moderate amounts, it can help rid the body of aldehyde, which is a toxic byproduct of alcohol digestion, but also a byproduct of stressed heart cells, such as those from a heart attack.

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Rolling Meadows DUI attorney, Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer, drugged driving, drugged driving lawyer, DUI, DUI laws, legal drugs, legal rights, marijuana, per-se laws, Scott F. Anderson, war on drugsDespite a decades-long "war" on drugs in the U.S., drugs continue to be an issue that plague our streets and our highways. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), more than 15 percent of nighttime, weekend drivers tested positive for illegal, prescription, or OTV medications. More than 10 percent tested positive for illegal drugs. Of fatally injured drivers in 2009, nearly 20 percent tested positive for at least one type of drug at the time of death. The number of people who died as a result of a drugged driver is even more sobering: nearly 4,000 drivers who were killed in 2009 were on drugs.

The issue of drugged driving continues to lag statistically behind driving under the influence of alcohol, but this could change as more states move toward relaxed legal policies regarding drug use and legalize marijuana. A number of states, including Illinois, have introduced per-se laws in an attempt to quantify and punish drugged drivers. Reported by StopDruggedDriving.org, the Obama Administration has pinpointed per-se laws as a major initiative. StopDruggedDriving.com reports that, "per-se means that any detectable amount of a controlled substance, other than a medicine prescribed by a physician for that driver in a driver’s body fluids, constitutes per se evidence of a ‘drugged driving’ violation."

Per-se laws, of course, are problematic. Many drugs, including marijuana, which is now legal for recreational use in two states, tend to stay in a person’s system long after the effects of the drug have worn off. This ostensibly means that a person could legally buy and smoke marijuana in Colorado, drive back to Illinois three days later, and be arrested for drugged driving while on the way to work.

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