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Field Sobriety Tests and a DUI Arrest

 Posted on December 30,2014 in DUI and Breath Alcohol Tests

Arlington Heights DUI defense attorney, DUI arrest, field sobriety tests, FST, Scott F. Anderson, agility testsField sobriety tests, or FSTs, are a critical part of a DUI arrest. If an officer suspects that a motorist may be intoxicated, the officer nearly always asks the driver to perform these agility tests. These tests also indicate whether or not a person is mentally impaired.

There are a number of FSTs, but only three have been approved by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The arresting officers always say that the defendants failed the tests, and therefore they were arrested. By challenging the results, an attorney may be able to show that there was no probable cause for a DUI arrest and a case may be thrown out.

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus

Most people are familiar with the HGN test. The test administrator, who is nearly always the officer, asks the subjects to follow a point with their eyes without moving their heads. The point is usually the tip of an ink pen in daylight hours and a flashlight at night. Nystagmus is an involuntary eye jerk. If there are four or more clues between the two eyes, the subject may have a BAC of at least .08.

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Understanding DUI Checkpoints and What to Do during Traffic Stops

 Posted on December 22,2014 in DUI

DUI checkpoints, Illinois DUI defense lawyer, traffic stops, DUI defense lawyer, drunk driving, Scott F. AndersonOver the last decade, the Department of Transportation and other government-funded organizations have tested various ways to prevent drunk driving. One of the most successful tactics is using DUI checkpoints, especially during the holidays.

Most Americans are aware that drunk driving is dangerous, and the fact that law enforcement cracks down during certain seasons has become common knowledge. This is more than a scare tactic; it aims to protect the surge of drivers who travel during the holidays.

Unfortunately, many honest people miscalculate their consumption and end up charged with driving under the influence. If you approach a DUI checkpoint and are not sure if you are over the legal limit, the following tips may prove helpful.

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Don’t Let a Drunk Driving Offense Put a Damper on the Holiday Spirit

 Posted on December 19,2014 in DUI

Arlington Heights DUI attorney, drunk driving offense, DUI arrest, DUI repercussions, holiday DUI, impaired drivingIllinois drivers can expect Arlington Heights law enforcement and other area cities to increase patrol as this season's holiday travel begins. In fact, drivers "can expect hundreds more roadside safety checks, seat belt enforcement zones and other police saturation patrols looking for impaired drivers ... until January 1," reports KFVS12.

In the past, police have enforced a special focus on impaired driving due to alcohol being an increased factor during the holiday season. Between happy hours, work parties, and family gatherings, the number of drunk drivers on the road at this time of year can be a danger to all.

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December in Illinois: Drunk and Drugged Driving (3-D) Prevention Month

 Posted on December 16,2014 in DUI

Arlington Heights DUI attorney, drugged driving, drunk driving death, fatal car accident, illinois drunk driving, sober driver, traffic deaths, zero tolerance campaign, holiday season, combat drunk driving, Lights on for LifeEvery year police departments across the nation gear up for the busy holiday season and subsequent influx of reported drunk driving incidents. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), there were 321 fatalities in 2012 as a result of drunk driving, representing 34 percent of all traffic deaths for the state of Illinois.

The Illinois State Police (ISP) has issued many campaigns over the years against drunk driving, especially during this time of year. A few months ago, ISP teamed up with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and hundreds of police departments statewide to commence the "Driver Sober or Get Pulled Over" zero tolerance campaign against drunk or drugged driving prior to the Labor Day holiday weekend.

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Pretrial Release: The Requirements and the Process

 Posted on November 24,2014 in Criminal Law

pretrial release requirements, Arlington Heights criminal defense lawyer, Eighth Amendment, pretrial release, bond reduction hearing, Scott F. Anderson, nonviolent offenders, security bondIn any criminal case, it is very important that clients of criminal defense lawyers in Arlington Heights be free before trial, and not just for the obvious personal and family reasons. People who are in jail can visit with their attorneys only in carefully controlled conditions, so it is very difficult for them to help prepare their defense. Later, once the trial starts, jurors may believe that defendants who are in jail are more likely to be guilty.

Requirements

The Eighth Amendment to the Constitution provides that reasonable bail shall be available in all criminal cases. Typically, a magistrate sets the bail amount at a detention hearing shortly after the defendant is arrested. In setting the amount, the judge can consider the following:

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Refusing a Chemical Test during DUI Arrest in Illinois

 Posted on November 17,2014 in DUI and Breath Alcohol Tests

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.

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The ALR Hearing: A Trial Within a Trial

 Posted on November 10,2014 in DUI

ALR hearing, Arlington Heights DUI defense lawyer, drunk driving, DUI arrest, license revocation hearingA DUI in Illinois is actually two separate proceedings: the criminal prosecution and the Administrative License Revocation action to suspend a drivers’ license. A surprising number of people do not even request an ALR hearing. But, whether you win or lose, the experienced DUI defense lawyers in DuPage County can use the ALR hearing to your advantage.

Background

If you are arrested for DUI, the state will initiate suspension proceedings. Your license can be suspended for up to one year if you fail a chemical test, and up to three years if you refuse to submit to a breath or blood test. But before the state can take action, you have a right to a hearing. Typically you only have 15 days to exercise this right, so you have to act fast.

Process

The ALR hearing officer is not a judge, and may not even be a lawyer. The hearing officer serves as both prosecutor and jury. Since it is technically not a criminal process, the criminal rules of procedure do not apply. Most significantly, and this happens rather frequently, you may be called to testify against yourself.

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Is Drugged Driving in Illinois on the Rise?

 Posted on November 03,2014 in DUI

drugged driving in Illinois, Arlington Heights DUI attorney, drugged driving, DUI, recreational drug use, marijuana laws, drugged driving accidentsWith aggressive ad campaigns targeting drunk driving, Americans should be quite familiar with the dangers associated with driving while intoxicated. Drugged driving, however, is not as widely discussed. According to recent statistics, it is an issue that might warrant greater attention.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in the past decade alone drugged driving incidents rose close to 15 percent. More recent data indicates a growing problem on American roadways. A survey conducted in 2012 revealed that more than 10 million drivers admitted to being under the influence of an illegal substance while driving at some point. The National Roadside Survey from 2007 indicated that 20 percent of weekend drivers tested positive for recent drug use. Similar reports have been surfacing in recent years as well.

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Changes to DUI Law Under Illinois Medical Cannabis Act

 Posted on October 27,2014 in DUI

Arlington Heights DUI attorney, illinois medical cannabis, DUI arrest, legal medical marijuana, medical marijuanIn August 2013, Illinois followed Colorado and Washington to become the twentieth state to legalize the medical use of cannabis under its Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act. Under this Act, medical marijuana is legal for registered users to treat symptoms of a statute-defined debilitating medical condition. Authorization of use includes the following qualifications:

  • User must be 18 years of age or older;
  • User must have written certification from an Illinois-licensed physician; and
  • User must be registered with the Department of Public Health.

With the passing of this Act, which went into effect January 1, 2014, there have been changes to DUI law. Prior to the Act, it was against the law for a person driving a motor vehicle to be under the influence of cannabis or have any trace of cannabis in the blood, breath or urine.

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Illinois First-Time DUI Offenders: Ignition Interlock Eligibility

 Posted on October 20,2014 in First DUI Offense

Arlington Heights DUI attorney, driving suspension, DUI arrest, first-time DUI offender, ignition interlock, monitoring device driving permitThe Illinois Secretary of State reports that 86 percent of drivers arrested for DUI in 2012 were first time offenders. Even for a first offense, a DUI has the potential of carrying serious penalties.

Depending on the facts surrounding the arrest, it can include:

  • Court fines and fees;
  • Suspension of driving privileges;
  • Community service; and
  • Imprisonment.

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