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Illinois DUI laws, Illinois defense attorneyChances are, if you have been out after dark on a Friday or Saturday night and in the vicinity of a popular nightclub, you have seen a police checkpoint. They generally are fairly obvious with bright lights and police vehicles. The point of these stops are to test for the sobriety of drivers on the road. Recently, more drivers are going through the checkpoints and then warning other drivers of a checkpoint ahead, most verbally but some go so far as to create signs and stand at corners. If you watch the driver’s reactions to the information, several of them turn and go the other direction, preventing a potential DUI charge. Did they do the right thing?

Are Checkpoints Even Legal?

While yes, an officer does need to have sufficient cause to stop a driver, the state of Illinois has determined that the dangers of drunk driving outweigh the intrusion of sobriety checkpoint. In other words, yes, in the state of Illinois, sobriety checkpoints, roadblocks, or mobile checkpoints are legal. However, the location of the checkpoint must be completely random and temporary. Officers are able to briefly interview the driver, at which point, if the driver is displaying suspicious behavior, the officer is entitled to conduct a field sobriety test. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these checkpoints potentially can prevent up to one in 10 DUI related deaths.

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Posted on in DUI

Illinois drunk driving laws, Illinois drunk driving attorneySince the day we are born, it is instilled upon us that everyone is different and unique. No two people are exactly alike, not even identical twins. Yet, almost everything produced today is based on results for the “average person”. As everyone is different, there logically really cannot be an “average” for some things. Take for example, a breathalyzer. A breathalyzer determines the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) in your system when you breathe into it. Police officers today use this as a ready tool for charging an individual with  driving under the influence (DUI). However, these charges can drastically change someone’s future leaving many to wonder, how accurate are they really?

The answer: not very. While the concept of the breathalyzer is well intentioned, the execution of the invention has one major flaw. The basis of the breathalyzer calculations are on the average person, the one that does not exist. Let us also take into account that a breathalyzer measures BAC only indirectly, via the expiration of breath from the lungs, rather than directly from the blood. This alone gives a wide margin of error. While this is something that is incessantly redeveloped and argued, the current measuring system is inadequate to say the least.

Factors Affecting Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)

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Posted on in DUI

DUI laws 2016, Maywood DUI Defense LawyerThe ratio of alcohol to either blood or breath is known as a blood alcohol content (BAC) level. Since July 2, 1997, the blood alcohol content limit in Illinois has been 0.08%.  Someone who has a BAC of 0.05% may also be charged with a crime if the driver appears impaired. The effect of alcohol is based on the amount of alcohol consumed and the rate at which it is metabolized and absorbed in the body. Other factors include gender, age, weight, and even mood. Prior to January 1, 2016, an individual convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) of either alcohol or drugs had an immediate suspension of their driving privileges of anything from 30 days to three years. This resulted in a large amount of individuals driving illegally.

Changes to the Law 

As of January 1, 2016, a new set of laws went into effect to give a reprieve to those dependent on their vehicle for daily life. If an individual fails, refuses to submit to, or fails to complete chemical testing, there is an automatic suspension of driving privileges, effective 46 days after the suspension notice was given. The new law states that if this is your first DUI offense, a driver is now eligible to apply for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP) during the first 30 days of suspension.

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