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Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyerIn Illinois, a conviction of driving under the influence (DUI) is considered a misdemeanor. This fact is not saying that Illinois does not take DUI seriously, as there are approximately 35,000 people arrested annually for DUI-related charges. A misdemeanor conviction is also not getting away easy, as the state estimates that the total cost of a first-time DUI totals approximately $16,000.00 after the loss of licensure resulting in loss of income, insurance rate increase, fines, and other court costs. However, not all cases are created equal, and occasionally, clients are surprised to discover their charges are more severe than anticipated, that they face felony DUI charges instead. How does that happen and what does that mean for the future, if convicted?

First-Time DUI?

Even if this is your first experience with a DUI, it is possible to be facing felony charges. The prosecution must prove that the driver had a 0.08% blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or was impaired to have any leverage in court. These factors alone may result in the initial misdemeanor charge. However, if your situation involves another more severe factor, your case may jump to aggravated DUI, which is a felony charge. Factors that can make the difference include:

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Posted on in DUI

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyerThe breathalyzer as we know it today was born in 1954 by a man named Robert Borkenstein and has undergone little alteration since it’s introduction. An estimated 86% of the adult population of the United States claims they have consumed alcoholic beverages at least one time in their life, many of which went on to drive home. Breathalyzers use technology to detect the amount of alcohol on the breath of these drivers, which results in DUI allegations. This form of sobriety test has many pitfalls, and for this reason, researchers, inventors, and scientists all over the world scramble to create the next alcohol detection device.

The Current Device

The current tool is a guideline and no means is it perfected to 100% accuracy. Everyday items such as mouthwash and cough syrup are known to register a false positive in some machines. By breathing into the device, the device is estimating the amount of alcohol on your breath.

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Posted on in DUI

Illinois DUI attorney, Illinois defense lawyerThe numbers from recent polls indicate that the majority of Americans partake in alcoholic beverages, with beer and wine topping the lists for preference. Other research delves into the reasoning for the consumption, citing social pressure, isolation, and the psychological effects among the top reasons. However, the anxiety-reducing effects that alcohol often ranks above the rest. Many believe that during the high-stress holiday season between Thanksgiving Day and New Year’s Day has a direct correlation with the increase of holiday DUI statistics.

Dangerous Holidays

Although Independence Day took the top spot for the most deadly holiday of 2015 due to the amount of DUI fatalities, coming in closely behind it is “Blackout Wednesday.” If you have not found this date on your calendar, do not be alarmed, it is not an official holiday. Blackout Wednesday is unofficially coined and occurs on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Eve if you will. Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve pale in comparison. Reasons this particular Wednesday resulted in nearly 400 DUI related fatalities in 2015 include:

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Posted on in DUI

Illinois drunk driving laws, Illinois defense attorneyA fatality can be a life-changing experience for any loved ones left behind. It is especially heart wrenching if the death was sudden and unexpected, such as in a traffic collision. It can be equally life-altering for those accused of causing the accident. If driving under the influence is the contributing factor found in the investigation, two sets of lives may be altered forever.

The Situation

After a long work week, you and your spouse decide to go out to dinner. You both order a glass of wine and begin catching up like old times. By the time dinner arrives, your wine is gone, and you decide to have another. With laughter, you accidentally spill some red wine on your white dress shirt. The sun has gone down, and it becomes evident that it is time to get home. However, on the way home, there is construction, and the lights are blindingly bright. You do not see the temporary lane shift on the highway, and you and an oncoming car collide. The accident results in severe injuries, and the other driver passes away as a result.

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Posted on in DUI

Illinois DUI laws, Illinois drunk driving attorneyNo one ever anticipates being the recipient of a DUI charge when they begin their drive. If we had that information, perhaps more individuals would choose one of the many alternate options to make it to their destination. However, once a driver has been pulled over safely, it is the duty of the officers to complete standard procedures. If the officer fails to complete the routine in a legal manner, anything that the driver is charged for, including driving under the influence of alcohol or marijuana, may be susceptible to being dismissed.

Chronological Order of a DUI Traffic Stop

Officers endure extensive training programs to be prepared to follow protocol instinctively during a traffic stop. If the officer strays from the guidelines set for them, they potentially may also be in violation of the law. The steps flow in such a way to protect the rights of citizens, and these rights are not to be infringed upon. These measures include:

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Posted on in DUI

Illinois DUI attorney, Illinois defense lawyerIt may go entirely against your self-preservation instincts. It may go against everything your family and friends have advised you to do. Yet, there may be some added benefits, depending on your case, to plead guilty to your charge of driving under the influence (DUI). If you think you may want to explore this option, then it really should be done so under the supervision of a lawyer to ensure that it is the best option and that you are not making a serious error.

Benefits of Pleading Guilty

As aforementioned, we are in no way suggesting to go around admitting guilt haphazardly. To do so could be disastrous to any legal claim you may have. It is always the best route to not say anything without a lawyer present, because, as stated in our Miranda Rights, “Anything you say may be used against you in a court of law.” Yet, depending on the details of your situation, you may want to consider and weigh all of your options carefully. A few of the benefits of entering a guilty plea are:

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